GRAY – WASHINGTON NEWS BUREAU, STETSON MILLER
A new survey has found that a bipartisan majority of people say they would favor a ban on stock trade for Members of Congress, the President, Vice President and Supreme Court justices.
The University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation survey found that large majorities of people favor prohibiting stock-trading in individual companies by Members of Congress (86%, Republicans 87%, Democrats 88%, independents 81%), as well as the President, Vice President, and Supreme Court Justices (87%, Republicans 87%, Democrats 90%, independents 82%).
“This has been an issue that while there have been laws addressing insider trading for decades on end, this has been something that continues to be a hot topic in Congress oftentimes because the American public feels like the laws on the books are not enough,” said JP Thomas, Vice President of Voice of the People, a nonpartisan group that worked with the university to conduct the study
Virginia Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger has been highlighting the surveys findings recently and says it reflects much of what people say about the issue in her home district, both Republicans and Democrats.
“It’s exactly what I hear in my district… It is a unifying issue. The idea that members of Congress, as we sit through meetings with CEOs or with industry leaders, or we then place votes that could move markets, the idea that we can also trade individual stocks and potentially financially benefit from our day to day knowledge of this job. And what we learn in this job is is pretty shocking to people,” said Spanberger.
She also is using it to highlight her Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act that she reintroduced this year.
“This legislation that would ban members of Congress from buying or selling individual stocks. It’s a straightforward premise. It makes sense to the American people, and it certainly is popular in my district whenever I talk about it,” she said.
Congresswoman Spanberger’s legislation now has more than 60 Democratic and Republican cosponsors — the most of any proposal to ban congressional stock trading in either the House or Senate.