House lawmakers are pushing a bill to block members of Congress and their families from stock trading, with the group introducing the legislation including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
The bill, the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act, would prohibit financial investments by members of Congress, their spouses and any of their dependents. It continues a string of legislation that has been introduced over the past few years to target the issue.
“The ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “When Members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple.”
The push to ban stock trading by members of Congress has failed over the last few years. The issue has reached prominence after a number of high-profile incidents shed light on the issue.
In 2022, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband sold millions of dollars worth of shares of a computer chip maker as the House prepared to vote on a bill focused on domestic chip manufacturing. A spokesman for Pelosi said at the time that he sold the shares at a loss.
Former Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who at the time was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also unloaded stocks at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently closed a probe of his trading activities without taking action.
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans,” Gaetz said in a statement. “We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country.”
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) joined Ocasio-Cortez and Gaetz in introducing the bill.
While a number of other similar bills have been introduced over the last year to attack the issue, including legislation introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), they have struggled to gain traction.