Senators Propose Bill to Ban President and Congress From Stock Trading

Sahana Kiran
Stock trading
Source – Unsplash

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] and Josh Hawley [R-MO] are endorsing the “Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act,” a recently proposed bill aimed at prohibiting stock trading by members of Congress, the president, vice president, senior executive branch officials, and their relatives.

The proposed legislation encompasses a wide range of provisions aimed at regulating stock trading among government officials. It aims to prohibit stock trading, ownership, and the use of blind trusts. Moreover, the bill introduces penalties for executive branch stock trading and requires officials. They are urged to report federal benefits they receive, such as grants, loans, contracts, or other payments. This comes with the exception of salary compensation or tax refunds. This added transparency seeks to ensure greater accountability and prevent potential conflicts of interest among Washington officials.

Additionally, the bill aims to combat insider trading by members of Congress and their staff. The new legislation builds upon the decade-old STOCK law.

Gillibrand previously said,

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is critical that the American people know that their elected leaders are putting the public first – not looking for ways to line their own pockets.”

Penalties under this act

The summary by the above-mentioned senators outlines that the proposed legislation aims to increase the penalties for failing to file transaction reports under the STOCK Act from $200 to $500. Furthermore, the bill permits the imposition of additional civil penalties in cases involving “substantial monetary value.” This is along with those that are considered “extraordinary in nature.”

It remains uncertain when the committee will consider the legislation or when it will progress to the full Senate for debate and voting. It is not specified whether it will happen this year. However, the lawmakers referred to a Morning Consult/Politico poll. This revealed that at least 63 percent of Americans support prohibiting stock trading for members of Congress, their families, the president, the vice president, and senior officials at federal government agencies. Researchers conducted the poll between October 21 and October 23, 2022, among 2,005 registered voters.

Also Read: Senators Introduce Bill to Ban Congress From Owning Stocks