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Congress wants to ban members from trading stocks

On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi said that the proposal for a ban to prevent lawmakers from trading stocks will be ready soon

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California speaks during her weekly press conference, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, at the Capitol in Washington.

Shawn Thew, Associated Press

Congressional Democrats are greenlighting a plan to create legislation that would ban lawmakers from trading individual stocks, per Reuters.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she didn't personally trade stocks, although her husband does. With a push from members in her caucus, this idea of a ban has taken priority.

  • “It is a confidence issue and if that’s what members want to do then that’s what we will do,” Pelosi said, adding that the working proposal is already underway and a bill could move “pretty soon,” per NPR.

According to The New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., showed his support for a ban: “I believe this is an important issue that Congress should address and it’s something that has clearly raised interest from both sides of the aisle over the last few weeks.”

Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines have co-authored a version of the stock trading ban.

  • “When you’re elected, you’re here to serve the people, not the elite, and (a stock trading ban) I think is a step forward, an important step forward, to restore the faith and trust of the American people in this institution,” Daines said, per CNBC News.

Around 76% of voters believe that lawmakers and their spouses have unfair advantages when it comes to the stock market, according to a survey, per The Hill.

  • Only 5% approved of lawmakers trading stocks, while 19% gave no opinion.

According to Business Insider, 54 members violated the STOCK Act rules. The penalty is a small fine of $200 which is sometimes also waived.

  • Some of the violators of the act include Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky and Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona.