Proposed Law Bans Stock Trading for Members of Congress and Government Officials

A bipartisan bill called the “Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act” has recently been introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Josh Hawley. The proposed law aims to prohibit members of Congress and federal executive branch officials, including the president, from engaging in stock trading activities.

This bill builds upon the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) law which was established over a decade ago with the purpose of preventing insider trading by members of Congress and their staff. The new legislation expands the restrictions by not only forbidding government officials from owning stocks, but also from trading them, even if they are held in blind trusts.

The bill also outlines penalties for individuals who violate these rules, which can vary in severity depending on the circumstances. In certain cases involving substantial financial value, additional civil penalties may be imposed. The proposed legislation has received notable public support, with a survey conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation revealing that 86% of respondents favor a ban on stock trading among members of Congress.

Despite the widespread public support, previous bills addressing this issue, such as the TRUST in Congress Act and the PELOSI Act, have been unsuccessful in gaining traction within Congress. As a result, it remains uncertain when or if the Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act will be actively debated and voted upon.

In conclusion, the proposed law seeks to address concerns related to potential conflicts of interest and insider trading among members of Congress and government officials. Its introduction has garnered significant public support, highlighting the desire for tighter regulations in this area.