Demand Progress

Ban members of Congress from trading stocks!

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    Ban members of Congress from trading stocks!

    Petition to President Biden and Congress:
    We are calling on you to pass legislation banning members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks while serving in office. This is an essential step to cleaning up our political system and ensuring our elected officials do not use their positions to make profit on stocks.

    There's huge new momentum in Congress to finally ban lawmakers from buying and selling individual stocks, with several bills being proposed this month.

    But House leaders still haven't acted, despite a series of recent scandals. This week more than two dozen members of Congress sent a letter to Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy urging them to quickly pass this legislation.1

    If we want this legislation to pass, we need your help showing Congress the American people expect them to make it law.

    Sign the petition: Stop members of Congress from buying and selling stocks while in office!

    In the last few years Congress has been rocked by numerous scandals involving members of Congress profiting from their insider knowledge. In 2019, Rep. Chris Collins pleaded guilty to federal charges related to tipping off his son about nonpublic information he had obtained about a pharmaceutical company's failed drug trial. (Trump later pardoned him.)2

    Then there was the news that federal prosecutors were investigating whether Senators Kelly Loeffler, Richard Burr, Jim Inhofe, and Dianne Feinstein may have profited from insider information about the coronavirus in February 2020 as the pandemic was unfolding. Though Trump's Department of Justice declined to file charges against the four, the SEC is continuing to investigate Burr.3

    These are just the scandals we know about. It's clear that allowing members of Congress to trade stocks while they’re in office is too big a risk to the integrity of our legislative system.

    Last month Nancy Pelosi dismissed calls to ban members of Congress from buying and selling stocks. This provoked a major outcry from the American people.

    Under pressure, Pelosi has begun to backtrack, saying "if members want to do that, I'm okay with that."4 That’s better, but it's not exactly a ringing endorsement or a commitment to act quickly.

    Many current legislators profit from lobbying and stock trading. Massive corporations, lobbyists, and some of the wealthiest lawmakers have no interest in ending DC corruption.

    But these lawmakers answer to the public, and are vulnerable to grassroots pressure. We need to raise the alarm about Congressional stock trading, and we need your help doing it.

    Tell Congress: It's time to clean up your act and stop buying and selling stocks while in office!

    1. CNBC, "27 lawmakers call on House leaders to ban members from stock trading," January 24, 2022.
    2, 3. CNBC, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes banning Congress members from owning individual stocks: 'We're a free market economy'," December 15, 2021.
    4. Business Insider, "Pelosi Reverses on Stock Trade Ban: 'If Members Want to Do That, I'm Okay With That'," January 20, 2022.