Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas), the authors of a stock trading ban proposal, say that any legislation to prevent lawmakers from trading stocks should also apply to their immediate family members, such as spouses.
“To put forth a stock ban that only applies to members would be, as I would perceive it as an American … kind of a slap in the face to the American people,” Spanberger said, calling on lawmakers to vote on the legislation.
“Let’s police ourselves first, let’s hold ourselves to the highest standard first, and then we take the next look at who comes next,” Spanberger added.
Roy said it “would defy logic to say you’re not going to include your immediate family, because I think everybody would see that for what it is.”
Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced she is backing a ban on stock trading in Congress and has directed House Democrats to draft a bill addressing the matter.
Such a proposal also has bipartisan support in the Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has signaled he would back it.
“I have asked our members to get together to try to come up with one bill,” Schumer told reporters. “I would like to see it done.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky.) also said he would support a ban.
“I think it prevents such suggestions that you are going to be engaged in insider trading,” McConnell said, noting that he does not trade individual stocks.
The news comes after a group of House lawmakers led by Representative Jared Golden (D-Maine) urged Pelosi to make a bill banning stock trading among members of Congress a priority.
The Ban Conflicted Trading Act would prohibit members of Congress and their immediate family members from trading stocks. Meanwhile, the TRUST in Congress Act would prohibit stock trading by lawmakers and their senior staffers.
“There is no reason that members of Congress need to be allowed to trade stocks when we should be focused on doing our jobs and serving our constituents,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) “Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities. We don’t care. We came to Congress to serve our country, not turn a quick buck.”
“We understand that multiple bipartisan bills to ban members of Congress from owning or trading individual stocks have been introduced in the House. However, handwringing over which bill to advance should be no excuse for stalling a House floor vote on this issue,” they added.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.