House Minority Leader McCarthy said he was considering changing how lawmakers hold or trade stocks.
He told Punchbowl News that he could even seek a ban if Republicans won the House in November.
The report came as Insider’s Conflicted Congress found that 54 lawmakers infringed on the STOCK Act.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was considering limiting or barring lawmakers from holding or trading stocks and equities if Republicans won a House majority in November.
McCarthy told Punchbowl News that he was considering the changes but hadn’t come to any conclusions on what kind of limits or bans would be put in place.
Punchbowl News reported that the new rules could limit lawmakers to holding only professionally managed mutual funds or stocks in the kinds of companies that aren’t relevant to the committee work that they do.
The report comes as Insider’s Conflicted Congress project found that 54 congressional lawmakers and 182 senior congressional staffers had infringed on the STOCK Act, an Obama-era law crafted to clamp down on insider trading and defend against conflicts of interest.
McCarthy ranks among federal lawmakers who have voluntarily abstained from trading individual stocks, according to an Insider analysis of congressional financial disclosures.
His statement to Punchbowl News presents a contrast to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s words on the matter. Last month, Pelosi publicly defended the practice after Insider’s Bryan Metzger asked at a press conference whether she’d support a stock-trading ban for members.
“We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” the veteran California Democrat said at the time.
When Pelosi was asked about Conflicted Congress — Insider’s five-month investigation into lawmakers’ financial conflicts of interest — she indicated that she hadn’t yet reviewed the body of work.
Sen. Jon Ossoff, a Democrat from Georgia, is also preparing to introduce legislation that would ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading the individual stocks of corporations, many of which spend significant amounts of money lobbying the federal government and vie for lucrative government contracts.
A proposed bill that would end trades among members — the Ban Conflicted Trading Act — was introduced in the Senate last year by four lawmakers, including Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Georgia’s other freshman senator, Raphael Warnock. A House version is backed by Ocasio-Cortez, along with additional members from both parties.
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