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Tags: michael cloud | newsmax | congress | stock trading

Rep. Cloud to Newsmax: No Stock Trading by Congress Members

By    |   Tuesday, 18 October 2022 01:02 PM EDT

Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, told Newsmax on Tuesday that he "certainly" supports banning stock trading by members of Congress, especially because "these people [lawmakers] are invested in the very companies that are lobbying them."

"The way Congress works right now is legislation's passed that is all too vague, and we send it to the bureaucracy and the agency ends up putting in regulations or guidance that has the force of law," Cloud said on "National Report." "They're making a lot of decisions when it comes to what the healthcare regulations are in our country or what food and medicine gets approved — even what weapons systems we buy as a government.

"So, Congress, rightfully, gets a lot of scrutiny, and we certainly need to continue to home in on that when it comes to Congress, but we need to not also overlook the executive branch, because a lot of these decisions are being made in the executive branch."

Introduced in August, the Dismantling Investments in Violation of Ethical Standards through Trusts, or, DIVEST Act, which Cloud co-sponsored, seeks to prohibit senior federal employees and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks while working in the executive branch,  according to a press release from Cloud's office. Investments into diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and U.S. Treasury bonds would be exempt.

"What the Divest Act does, specifically, is work on the executive branch, and what we're talking about is senior-level decision-makers, basically," Cloud said. "We're not talking about your local post office worker here, who's not really making decisions, but senior level executive branch members who, for example, are deciding what medicines to use."

According to The Wall Street Journal, thousands of officials across the executive branch reported owning or trading stocks that were impacted by decisions their agencies made.

From the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during Republican and Democrat administrations, more than 2,600 officials revealed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies.

That works out to more than 1 in 5 senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies the Journal reviewed.

Cloud pointed to an example of Department of Defense officials who are invested in a Chinese company.

"Most Americans would say, What in the world?" he said. "'We have people working in the Pentagon maybe who were invested in Chinese companies? What's going on here?'"

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Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, told Newsmax on Tuesday that he "certainly" supports banning stock trading by members of Congress, especially because "these people [lawmakers] are invested in the very companies that are lobbying them."
michael cloud, newsmax, congress, stock trading
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2022-02-18
Tuesday, 18 October 2022 01:02 PM
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