The US House of Representatives may vote next week on a stock trading ban in Congress

The US House of Representatives may vote next week on a stock trading ban in Congress

  • House Democrats have just set up a possible vote next week on a stock trading ban in Congress.
  • Top Democrats told their colleagues the legislation would most likely include Supreme Court justices.
  • That inclusion, coupled with how little time members will have to consider the bill, may be a red flag.

House Democratic leaders announced that the chamber could consider legislation to bar members of Congress from trading stocks starting next week.

Democratic Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the Democratic caucus, announced in plenary session Thursday afternoon that the agency “may consider legislation to reform the SECURITIES Law.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously indicated a bill could be introduced in September.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Thursday and obtained by Insider, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, chair of the House Management Committee, posted a structure entitled “Combating Financial Conflicts of Interest and Restoring Public Faith and Confidence in Government.”

“Throughout the federal government, there have been significant stories of financial conflicts of interest related to trading and stock ownership,” Lofgren wrote. “Taken together, these stories undermine the faith and confidence of the American people in the integrity of public officials and our federal government.”

The framework includes much of what prominent proponents of stockpile ban legislation have called for, such as including spouses and dependent children in any potential ban.

Other framework provisions require:

  • Mandatory electronic filing of financial statements, as some officials submit statements that are almost illegible.
  • Require “more granularity” when disclosing financial transactions. Currently, lawmakers are only required to disclose their trade values ​​in broad ranges, such as $100,000 to $250,000 or $1 million to $5 million.
  • A ban on high-ranking government officials, including members of Congress and their immediate families, from trading in cryptocurrencies.

Lofgren’s framework also includes a class of government officials along with members of Congress: Supreme Court justices. It’s a measure advocates see as a possible “poison pill” intended to ensure the legislation can’t pass the Senate.

The framework also calls for increasing the penalty for violating the STOCK Act from a meager $200 to $1,000 for each 30-day period that a member of Congress fails to comply, and calls for greater transparency around the law’s enforcement.

“Several bills that have been introduced to date address some of these issues and include well thought out proposals, but no bill addresses each of these four elements with this level of detail,” Lofgren wrote. “I will soon present a legislative text for a bill based on this reform framework.”

As of Thursday night, the full text of the bill had not been made public, and even members who have been working on related legislation told Insider they had yet to see the text.

The House will vote for just 3 days next week, leaving little time for members to consider new legislation.

The last-minute push to pass a stock trading ban in Congress comes after months of members pushing leaders to act, as well as Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” investigation, which found that dozens of members of Congress violated the STOCK Act and prompted widespread calls. for reform.

Several prominent proponents of the stock trading ban recently told Insider that they had been largely left out of the Democratic leadership’s legislative plans.

“I am concerned about the lack of detail about what is being planned,” said Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois. “The clock is running out pretty fast.”

“I’m not unreasonable about this, I just don’t want to play,” Spanberger said. “And let’s not pretend.”

“We haven’t heard exactly what’s going on,” said Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington. “I can’t say I’m sure.”

Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley told Insider last week that the Senate version of a stock trading ban is unlikely to come until after the midterm elections in November, though the senator continue to interact with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on the issue.

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