Democrats Plan To End Stock Trading For Congressional Lawmakers

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Democratic representatives plan on introducing a bill that will prevent Congressional lawmakers, their spouses and their senior staff from trading stocks.

The plan, which is set to be released in August and passed by September, would require the parties involved to either put their money into a blind trust or divest from all of their investment portfolios.

The bipartisan concern about stock trading amongst Congressional lawmakers was called into question after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), became the focus of an investigation when he sold stocks in February of that year based on information about the virus that had not yet been released to the public.

“We’re almost ready to move forward on this,” House Administration Committee Chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said to Punchbowl News.

The legislation would allow lawmakers to still hold mutual funds.

However, there has been opposition to the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), previously commented opposition to it but did ask the committee to explore a ban on stock trading earlier this year.

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) also questioned the idea of a blind trust, as it requires lawmakers to hire more staff and they are more expensive to set up and maintain. During an April hearing with the Administration Committee, Davis voiced concerns that this would hurt less wealthy lawmakers.

“The choice for those who are not independently wealthy is going to be limited compared to those who are wealthy and can afford a qualified blind trust,” Davis said at the time, according to The Hill.

This bill also mirrors a Senate bill titled the “Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act.” Members of Congress, along with their spouses and children, would have to divest within 120 days once the bill becomes law.

The hand of a sculpture of former U.S. President George Washington is pictured with the facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 28, 2021. Photo: Reuters / Mike Segar

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