Bill banning members of Congress from owning and trading stocks revived
Washington DC - A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday reintroduced a bill to ban members of Congress from owning and trading stocks.
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington joined forces with Republican Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana and Ken Buck of Colorado to reintroduce the Bipartisan Ban on Congressional Stock Ownership Act.
The legislation would ban members of Congress and their spouses from owning and trading stocks, bonds, commodities, futures, and other securities.
If found in violation, lawmakers could be penalized up to $50,000 for each breach of the law.
They would get a grace period to divest their holdings and come into compliance, and newly elected members would receive a similar transition time once they are sworn in.
Congressional stock owning ban seen as "long overdue"
Supporters of the measure say it is a necessary step to restore faith in government.
"Only two in ten Americans trust that our government is working in their best interest," Jayapal said in a statement.
"Members of Congress are elected to serve the people, not our own financial interests. As long as members and their spouses are allowed to trade individual stocks – the door to corruption remains open," she continued.
"This legislation is a long overdue, necessary step to raise the ethical standards of Congress and restore the people’s trust in our work."
While other related pieces of legislation have been introduced in the current session, the three sponsors said their version "goes beyond other proposals to ban stock trading in many ways."
Cover photo: Kevin Dietsch / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP