Progressives are pushing Congress to impose a ban on stock trading for members of Congress. One such bill has been drafted by Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger. Now, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is on board. But while she had previously shot down the idea, she is now supporting it and wants a ban that applies to all branches of government. Pelosi has previously been criticized for her husband’s stock trading profits. But she has caved to pressure from both sides of the aisle, including her own party.
The stock trading ban is supported by numerous senators and representatives, and has already been introduced in the House. The Senate has not yet voted on the bill, but it has received the backing of the majority of the Democratic Party. However, there are still several hurdles to overcome before a bill can pass the Senate. For example, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has expressed his support for the bill, but it needs unanimous consent to move forward. That means one senator’s objection could put the entire bill on hold.
Nancy Pelosi has publicly said that her husband does not make individual stock picks, but he does own tens of millions of dollars in stock. While Pelosi herself does not trade stocks, her husband does, and he earns millions of dollars in the financial markets. But despite her opposition to the bill, she insists that she does not own any stock herself. While she may have a financial interest in stocks, she says she never makes investment decisions based on information she provides him.
A recent Covid-19 virus pandemic put the issue into sharp relief. People were forced to make tough choices for their families, and many had to find unexpected medical bills and child care. Meanwhile, US senators raked in millions from fortuitous stock market trades. As a result, it is no wonder that this issue is gaining momentum. So, why not pass a ban? You never know. You never know, the next time you feel that urge to ban lawmakers from trading stocks.
A ban on stock trading would stifle insider trading, a common practice among congressional members. Currently, lawmakers are required to disclose all stock transactions, including those that are made with insider information, and these restrictions were passed in 2012. However, there are many questions remaining about the effectiveness of these laws, and it will be difficult for lawmakers to pass any legislation without answering them. If they don’t act, the consequences will be disastrous for the country.
In addition to making stock trading illegal, lawmakers should also make it more difficult for lawmakers to gain access to insider trade information. The legislation would require members of Congress to put all of their assets in a blind trust or give them away to a third party. But in the end, the proposal should not be rushed. As the House’s House Administration Committee Chair, this bill is nearing a final draft. It could quell growing concerns about unfair stock trading.