NBC29, ISABEL CLEARY
Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger is trying to limit members of Congress from buying, selling or trading individual stocks.
Rep. Spanberger sent out a survey seeing how Virginian’s felt about lawmakers buying, selling and trading stocks. She says with more than 3,000 submissions, 93% oppose it.
“They had significant frustration with the idea that members of Congress might be financially benefiting from the information that we have access to or the votes that we may take,” Spanberger said.
Last year Spanberger reintroduced the Trust in Congress Act. It works to increase transparency and reduce insider trading. The Senate is considering a companion bill.
“The next steps is we’re continuing to add co-sponsors on the House side, they’re doing the same on the Senate side,” she said.
The survey results showed there is widespread support across the commonwealth.
”I think this practice can inadvertently or overtly lead to ethical issues. They should have to place their portfolio in a blind trust and have a financial advisor handle their investments. While in office, they should not communicate with this officer,” Louisa County resident Pamela said.
“Personally profiting off insider information while holding an office of trust and power is reprehensible. I want my representatives to have their constituents as their first, middle, and last priority,” Orange County resident Heather said.
“My proposal is let’s remove any opportunity for people to even think that we’re focused on our own financial gains as opposed to the needs of the American people,” Spanberger said.
The process to vote on the bill is ongoing, the Senate and House are gathering co-sponsors.