A proposal to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks is quickly gaining a lot of appeal in the House. However, Republicans in the Senate are already finding problems with the proposal as they are noting how hard it would be to implement.
Many GOP senators are also seeing this attempted ban as a scramble by Democrats who are looking for political issues to bring on the midterm election, especially since President Biden has failed to pass key elements of his original agenda.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), has spoken on the topic, noting that lawmakers are already required to publicly disclose their trades and that there are consequences to those who break the insider-trading law. Further, he said that “Transparency brings accountability.”
Less well-off members of the Senate are also noting how this could bring a wider level of disparity between the members. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) pointed out that as one of the least wealthy members of the Senate he did not understand why his wife should be called to divest from bank stock that she inherited from her parents.
Part of the reason why the idea of banning members from trading comes from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband who was recently in the news because of his stock trades.
Recent reports have also been making various points regarding lawmakers violating the reporting requirements of the STOCK Act, which was passed in 2012 to prohibit members of Congress from using information not available to the public to gain personal profit.
While initially, Pelosi defended lawmakers’ right to trade individual stocks she has now mentioned that she would be interested in restricting their trading abilities. However, she is only willing to have that occur if the change also applies to the Supreme Court.