A bipartisan pair of House lawmakers have reintroduced a bill to ban members of Congress and some of their family from trading individual stocks while they are in office.
Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) dropped the Trust in Congress Act on Thursday, the third time that the unlikely duo has introduced the legislation. It would stop members of Congress, their spouses and their dependent children from trading individual stocks while they are elected. They previously introduced it in June 2020 and January 2021.
“Members of Congress — through our votes, through our actions — have the ability to move markets,” Spanberger said in a joint appearance with Roy on CNBC. “And as a result of that reality, members of Congress shouldn’t be able to buy or sell individual stocks.”
But the move to ban Congressional stock trading has been pushed aside for years. Last year lawmakers toiled over a possible agreement to get the proposition passed, but no breakthrough in talks emerged. Even support from then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not enough to find consensus.
A 2022 analysis by the New York Times found that nearly 20 percent of members of Congress are buying or selling stocks where there may be a conflict of interest.
Spanberger and Roy continue to bang the table for the issue to receive formal consideration. Roy made clear that the pair was willing to consider other ways of solving the issue, asserting that it isn’t “our way or the highway.”
“We want to start this conversation,” Roy said. “We think (this bill) is a good model. But if we want to talk about different ways to do it… let’s figure out how to make it work.”