Demand Progress

Tell Congress: Ban members from buying and selling stocks while in office!

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    Tell Congress: Ban members from buying and selling stocks while in office!

    Petition to Congress: 
    Recent scandals, including those involving Senators Burr and Loeffler, make it clear that members of Congress should not be able to trade stocks while serving in office. The existing rules aren't strong enough. It's time to end corruption and insider trading and ensure Congress legislates in the public interest. We urge you to pass legislation requiring Senators and Representatives to either divest from their holdings or place them in conflict-free funds.

    Congress has a corruption problem. One reason: they still get to own, buy, and sell stock even when they're making laws and rules that impact those stocks.

    There are rules preventing members of Congress from insider trading. But as Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler recently demonstrated by buying and selling stocks right after they got a classified briefing on the coronavirus, those existing rules aren't enough to stop Congress from abusing their power and privilege.

    We need to clean up Congress and make sure they're legislating in the public interest, not for their own private profit. Will you help send a message and fight back against corruption?

    Sign the petition: Tell Congress to ban Representatives and Senators from trading stocks while in office!

    When Jimmy Carter became president, he placed all his investments -- even his own peanut farm -- into a blind trust so that there wasn't even the slimmest chance his decisions could affect his personal income.

    But today that's not how most members of Congress operate. Senator Richard Burr, for example, made 33 transactions in a single day just before the stock market crashed in February. He had just received a private briefing from federal officials warning of the devastating impact the coronavirus would have on the United States.1

    Meanwhile, Senator Kelly Loeffler sold $20 million in stock in three separate deals in late February and early March after receiving the same closed door briefing -- and even invested money in a company that makes protective gear for health care workers. Her husband runs the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, which gave her a huge payday when she entered the Senate.2

    Congressional ownership of stock threatens to derail effective oversight of the massive federal bailout program. Representative Donna Shalala, who was appointed to the bailout oversight commission, was revealed to have made more than 500 stock trades after taking office and didn't follow the rules in reporting it.3 There's no way she can fairly and effectively oversee the bailout when she engages in this behavior.

    This is all part of the vast culture of corruption that engulfs our federal government, and it has to stop. Congress will act if they feel sufficient public pressure. That's where you come in. Will you help?

    Add your name and tell Congress: ban Representatives and Senators from trading stocks while in office!

    1. New York Times, "Stock Sales by Senator Richard Burr Ignite Political Uproar," March 20, 2020.
    2. AJC, "Kelly Loeffler faces new controversy about her pre-Senate payout," May 6, 2020.
    3. Politico, "Fault lines emerge in oversight body as Toomey, former Warren aide split," April 28, 2020.