A group of bipartisan House lawmakers is seemingly ready to introduce legislation that would prohibit members of Congress from owning and trading stocks.
In a Thursday letter co-authored by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., the lawmakers reportedly consolidated the most popular components of previous legislative submissions to form a bill that could potentially gain traction with the House Democrat and Republican leadership.
"In the service of our constituents and to restore trust in our public institutions, we are working together to synthesize our respective legislation into a single, bipartisan legislative framework, and as part of that work, we have established a set of shared principles that have guided our own efforts to find consensus and develop a broader legislative framework," the lawmakers wrote.
The letter went to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and bipartisan leaders of the House Administration Committee: Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Rodney Davis, R-Ill.
The principal measure of the proposed legislation: All active members of the House and Senate, including spouses and dependents under the age of 18, would be barred from trading and acquiring stocks in a marketplace setting.
Among the stipulations from the lawmakers:
- Banning the ownership and trading of stocks.
- Prohibiting ownership/trading of "securities, commodities, futures, derivatives, options, or similar financial assets."
- Demanding stiffer penalties to congressional members who violate the new rules.
- Requiring lawmakers to divest existing investments covered by the ban. As alternatives, the politicians would be encouraged to shift monies into Treasury bonds, or mutual bonds, and also move investments into a "qualified blind trust."
Time could be a major factor in the bipartisan bill garnering approval. Later this month, the members of Congress will go on a summer recess. After that, The Hill suggests it might be difficult to get the legislation passed before the November midterms.
Back in January, Newsmax chronicled how Speaker Pelosi initially tried to block the congressional ban on trading stocks. This came amid reports of Pelosi's net worth approaching $250 million.
There were also reports of the Pelosi family investing millions in call options — on prominent companies such as Google, Salesforce, Micron Technology, and Roblox.
Shortly thereafter, though, Pelosi agreed to back the stock-ban legislation and directed lawmakers to draft a proposal based on "where the support is in our caucus."
"I do come down always in favor of trusting our members," Pelosi said in January.
Pelosi's support, however, seemingly comes with a caveat:
"It has to be government-wide," said Pelosi. "The Supreme Court has no disclosure, it has no reporting of stock transactions. And yet, it makes important decisions every day."
Among the other signatories on the Krishnamoorthi-Fitzpatrick letter: Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minn., Jared Golden, D-Maine, Joe Neguse, D-Colo., Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.