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.

    Over 50 members of Congress were caught failing to disclose stock trades. Their likely penalty? A slap on the wrist, if that.1

    Federal laws require lawmakers to publicly disclose stock trades within 45 days, but lawmakers routinely violate these rules (even after eviscerating the disclosure rules). A handful of members have recently faced federal investigation over allegations they engaged in insider training, using confidential information to trade stocks to make money.

    Senator Jon Ossoff introduced a bill to ban lawmakers from owning and trading individual stocks. Now we need your help to convince Congress to act and help clean up our political system.

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

    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 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 after an investigation, the SEC is conducting a civil investigation of Burr.3

    These are just the scandals we know about. It's clear that allowing members of Congress to trade individual stocks while they're in office poses a tremendous conflict of interest.

    As Pelosi's comments make clear, some in Congress are reluctant to act. Public service is a public trust and we should not worry that lawmakers are saying one thing in public while helping themselves and their friends to make a buck privately. A ban on trading individual stocks will take away some of the temptation, and better disclosure will help keep them in check.

    Placing pressure on members of Congress is how the original stock trading transparency legislation was enacted. Only if they know you are paying attention will they act.

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

    1. Business Insider, "52 members of Congress have violated a law designed to stop insider trading and prevent conflicts-of-interest," December 31, 2021.
    2, 3. CNBC, "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes banning Congress members from owning individual stocks: 'We're a free market economy'," December 15, 2021.