A bipartisan bill has been unveiled that seeks to prohibit members of congress from owning and trading stocks in a move aimed at curbing lawmakers from profiting off of insider information and regaining public trust that has been heavily eroded in recent years.
The bill, called the “Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act,” was sponsored by Representatives Matt Gaetz (FL-R), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-R), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-D) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-D) and seeks to “restrict trading and ownership of certain financial instruments by Members of Congress and their spouses and dependents, and for other purposes.” Likewise, the bill would require lawmakers and covered family members to divest their current stocks or put them in a “qualified blind trust” within 90 days if it passes.
In a joint-statement, Representative Fitzpatrick said that “The fact that members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America.”
“We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information. This is basic common sense and basic Integrity 101,” he added.
“The ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government,” Representative 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.”
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans. We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country,” said Representative Gaetz. “As long as concerns about insider trading hang over the legislative process, Congress will never regain the trust of the American people. Our responsibility in Congress is to serve the people, not hedge bets on the stock market.”
“I am proud to support this important legislation and to help continue to expand the bipartisan coalition in Congress to ban stock ownership and trading by Members of Congress,” said Representative Krishnamoorthi.