Senators Strike Deal To Ban Stock Trading By Members Of Congress

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jul 10, 2024 - 09:20 PM

A bipartisan group of senators including Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Wednesday came to an agreement on a renewed effort to ban members of Congress from trading stock.

"Congress should not be here to make a buck," Hawley said during a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill. "There is no reason why members of Congress ought to be profiting off of the information that only they get."

The group's proposal will be the first to actually receive formal consideration by a Senate committee - the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, on July 24.

The effort, an amendment to an existing stock trading ban, would immediately forbid members of Congress, the president, and the vice president, from purchasing stocks and other covered investments - and would give lawmakers 90 days to liquidate current stocks.

Sens. Hawley, Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., Jeff Merkley, D-Or., and Gary Peters, D-Mi. negotiated and announced the new details.

If passed, the bill would also prohibit lawmakers’ spouses and dependent children from trading stocks, beginning March 2027. Also starting that year, the U.S. president, vice president and all members of Congress would have to divest from any covered investments. -CNBC

Penalties for violating the ban would be the greater amount of either their monthly salary, or 10% of the value of each covered asset in violation.

In 2021, Ossoff introduced a ban and put his own stock portfolio in a blind trust to lead as an example. The effort gained traction following revelations that several senators made  very profitable trades in as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded, when members of Congress were receiving classified briefings warning of how disastrous the virus could be for the US economy.

Several insider trading investigations were launched by the FBI - but, surprise! no criminal charges resulted.

Then in 2022 the effort gained more steam after notorious inside trader Nancy Pelosi voiced her opposition - labeling it a misguided effort to prevent lawmakers from participating in the "free market economy."