Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Senators push stock trading ban to prevent lawmakers from profiting from insider knowledge

By 37ci3 Jul11,2024

A bipartisan group of senators announced a deal on Wednesday to repeal Congress’s ban on stock trading, aimed at preventing members from profiting from insider information.

Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., Gary Peters, D-Mich., Josh Hawley, R-Mo. and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., unveiled their proposed legislation on Capitol Hill, called the ETHICS Act.

“This is a very tough bill,” Hawley told reporters at a news conference to announce the legislation.

Peters, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which must first approve the bill before any floor action, called the measure “a common piece of legislation that helps maintain confidence in this institution.”

According to a background bill obtained by NBC News, the proposed legislation would prohibit lawmakers from buying stocks and other covered investments and prevent members from selling stocks for 90 days after the bill takes effect. Spouses and dependent children of members will also be banned from trading shares from March 2027.

The legislation would also require lawmakers, as well as the president and vice president, to divest themselves of all covered investments beginning in 2027.

Fines for violations will be either the officers’ monthly salaries or 10% of the value of the offending assets, whichever is greater.

Ossoff pushed similar llegislation Since joining the Senate in 2021, he placed his stock portfolio in a blind trust that year.

The new bill will not allow MPs and their spouses to use blind trusts.

“We’re all united behind the agreed-upon framework and text,” Ossoff said when asked about his investment if the bill becomes law. “Members of Congress should not be allowed to trade stocks while in office. This is a strong bill that fully achieves that goal.”

The National Security Committee is expected to mark the bill on July 24.

There have been similar bipartisan efforts in the House. Hawley told reporters that he hopes the Republican-led House will pass the legislation.

“Many House Republicans have promised to move a serious stock-trading bill,” he said, adding, “The fact that the Senate passed a very serious bill. … I hope that my Republican colleagues in the House will look at this and that this is something that we need to get behind. they will say it is.”

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By 37ci3

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