Business Insider: Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is calling for a new House hearing on stock trade ban legislation: ‘We must continue the momentum’

BUSINESS INSIDER, BRYAN METZGER

Aiming to “continue the momentum” of last year’s push to ban members of Congress from trading stocks, Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia is asking the Committee on House Administration to hold a new hearing on the topic.

“We owe our constituents action,” Spanberger wrote in a letter exclusively shared with Insider, asking for a hearing “with good governance experts to reexamine proposals banning Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from trading individual stocks while in office.”

Her letter also references a report that dozens of lawmakers beat the stock market in 2022 despite an overall downturn, as well as the launch of two exchange-traded funds that mimic top lawmakers’ stock trades.

Spanberger’s bill, the TRUST in Congress Act, is co-sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, one of the 20 House Republicans who initially did not support House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s bid. Roy now sits on the influential House Committee on Rules, which determines which legislation reaches the floor of the House.

Earlier this month, Spanberger and seven other House Democrats who’ve sponsored stock trade ban legislation sent a letter to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urging him to “act on your promise” to ban the practice.

Insider’s Conflicted Congress investigation identified several different instances of potential conflicts of interest arising from stock holdings by members of Congress, and found that dozens of lawmakers failed to disclose their stock trades in a timely fashion during the previous Congress. Furthermore, enforcement against violations of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act is minimal.

Momentum grew during the previous Congress for taking action on the issue, resulting in a previous hearing before the Committee on House Administration.

But the resulting legislation, hastily released months later, was written without the input of good government groups and the leading proponents in Congress, resulted in an aborted vote in September.

Now, reformers are holding out hope that McCarthy and the Republican-led committee will take up the issue.

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