There is momentum in Congress to ban lawmakers from trading stocks.
This surprised Democratic Rep. Joe Neguse. He has been championing the idea since 2020 and is a key sponsor of the conflicting Trade Ban Bill.
“At first when we first introduced this bill, it didn’t have much support,” Neguse recalls. He thinks the change is now largely due to the American public, who want “to see a more ethical and competent government. And that in turn motivated more members of Congress to join the bugle call we offered to take this important step.
The doyen of the Colorado delegation, Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette, is a co-sponsor of the bill, which would bar members and their senior executives from trading individual stocks and prevent them from serving on boards of directors during their tenure. mandate.
“Members of Congress should be focused on helping the people they represent, not using their position to flesh out their own investment portfolios,” she said in a statement. “There is no reason why a member of Congress, who has access to all sorts of classified information and the ability to advance legislation that could directly impact a particular market, should be trading or holding individual actions.”
This is an issue that has united members from all political backgrounds. Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz and Michael Cloud are also key sponsors of this bill. There are investors who look at the professions of legislators due to the perception that they hold information that is not available to the general public.
“I support an absolute, affirmative ban on trading individual stocks,” GOP Rep. Ken Buck said. “I think there is not only a conflict of interest, but an appearance of a conflict of interest. And I think we need to make sure the American public knows that we’re not acting for personal gain in this work.
While he agrees that members should not trade, he is less comfortable with the part of the bill that applies the same restriction to senior executives. He said he would, however, consider applying it to senior staff on the committee.
Neguse’s bill isn’t the only proposal circulating on the Hill right now. Democratic Rep. Jason Crow signed the TRUST in Congress Act, which would ban not only members from trading individual stocks, but also spouses and dependent children. They should place investments in a blind trust for up to 180 days after leaving office.
“The American people sent members to Washington to do the job – not to line their pockets. Members of Congress should not be able to trade stocks while in office,” Crow said in a statement.
Agreement on the idea also extends to the Senate. A spokesman for Bennet said he “supports banning members of Congress from stock trading and is reviewing the various bills proposed by his House and Senate colleagues to do so.”
New Colorado Senator John Hickenlooper also likes the idea. “We must prevent conflicts of interest and build on the disclosure and transparency already in place,” he said in a statement.
If any of these bills were passed, it would require changes for some Colorado members.
As for members of the Colorado delegation currently trading stocks, it’s a mixed bag.
According to financial disclosure forms, Crow and DeGette have their money in mutual funds, Neguse has an IRA, and Buck has a trust and mutual funds. Bennet also has a trust, mutual funds, and IRAs.
On the House side, the two members who have listed the most stock trades are Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter and Republican Representative Doug Lamborn.