Republicans and Democrats Unite Behind Stock Ban

Republicans and Democrats Unite Behind Stock Ban

( – Over the years, lawmakers have repeatedly faced accusations that they are profiting from insider information on the stock market. In January, a report was released claiming 78 members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, allegedly violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012. The STOCK Act, as it’s referred to, was designed to prevent that exact scenario from happening but has reportedly failed time and again.

Lawmakers are finally reaching across the aisle to try to stop members of both parties from using their jobs to make them rich.

Shocking Alliances

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is one of the most progressive members of Congress. She’s been trying to move her party to the far left since her first term in office. In some respects, she’s been quite successful. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), on the other hand, is AOC’s polar opposite. Where she likes government overreach, he wants the feds to have limited involvement.

Despite their differences, Gaetz and AOC co-sponsored the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act. The legislation, which was also introduced by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) would prohibit members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependents from owning or trading individual stocks.

In the Senate, Republicans Lindsey Graham (SC) and Josh Hawley (MO) have united with Democrats Raphael Warnock (GA) and Elizabeth Warren (MA) to form a coalition to help push through their own legislation to prevent lawmakers from participating in insider trading.

The senators want to pass legislation that closely resembles the Bipartisan Ban on Congressional Stock Ownership Act, which was introduced last year by Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Warren. The legislation is similar to the House bill; it seeks to ban members and their spouses from owning stocks and investments that could become problematic.

In April, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced another bill, the Ending Trading and Holdings in Congressional Stocks (ETHICS) Act, that would largely do the same thing. Like the other legislation, lawmakers, their spouses, and their dependent children could not own or trade commodities, futures, or securities.

What’s the Hold Up?

Even though members of Congress have repeatedly introduced legislation to prohibit this special kind of corruption, lawmakers have not been able to pass a bill. Merkley has said the Democratic Party in the Senate needs more support from Republicans to get a bill through. Although Dems hold a majority in the chamber, they still need 9 or 10 members of the other party to vote with them to overcome a possible filibuster.

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