A new legislative proposal called the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act has been proposed and it would effectively prohibit lawmakers and their family members from buying and selling individual stocks or derivatives.
The proposal was put forth by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, including Rep. Matt Gaetz, a conservative firebrand from Florida, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a rising star in the progressive movement. The bill comes on the heels of several high-profile cases where lawmakers have been accused of using insider knowledge to make profitable trades in the stock market.
Under the new proposal, lawmakers and their dependents would be barred from trading individual stocks or derivatives, but they would still be allowed to hold assets in qualified blind trusts, the federal pension system, and government securities, as well as widely held investment funds. This move is part of a larger push by lawmakers to restore public faith in government and hold elected officials accountable for their actions.
This is not the first time a bill like this has been proposed. Earlier this year, Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a similar piece of legislation called the PELOSI Act, and two months ago, Reps. Pramila Jayapal, Matt Rosendale, and Ken Buck also introduced a bill to ban individual stock trading by lawmakers and their family members. However, the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act is the most comprehensive proposal to date.
Several politicians have been caught up in controversies related to stock trading in recent weeks. For example, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis of New York reportedly purchased $15,000 in New York Community Bancorp after meeting with officials regarding the failure of the firm. Similarly, the wife of Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon reportedly purchased as much as $15,000 in Silicon Valley Bank stock and sold as much as $15,000 in both Bank of America and First Republic Bank stock, according to periodic transaction reports.
The New York Times reported last year that as many as 97 lawmakers or their immediate family members purchased or sold assets related to their legislative committee work between 2019 and 2021. This includes Paul Pelosi, the investor and husband of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, as well as Elaine Chao, a Republican who served as Transportation Secretary and the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act is a significant step towards restoring public trust in elected officials and ensuring that lawmakers are held to the highest ethical standards. By prohibiting individual stock trading by members of Congress and their family members, this bill seeks to prevent conflicts of interest and insider trading, and promote transparency and accountability.
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