Spanberger Presses For Hearing on Legislation to Ban Members of Congress & Their Families from Trading Individual Stocks

Her “TRUST in Congress Act” Would Require All Members of Congress to Put Certain Investment Assets in a Blind Trust During their Entire Time in Office

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today pressed the U.S. House Committee on House Administration to hold a hearing on banning Members of Congress from trading individual stocks — the next step in getting this long overdue reform across the finish line.

In a letter sent to Committee on House Administration Chair Bryan Steil (R-WI-01) and Ranking Member Joe Morelle (D-NY-25), Spanberger called for the Committee to schedule a hearing on proposals to reform stock trading practices in the halls of Congress — including her proposal to ban Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from trading individual stocks.

“As you know, the Committee on House Administration held a hearing on reforms to Member stock trading practices in April 2022,” said Spanberger. “Unfortunately, the Committee failed to hold a markup on potential legislation to bring to the House floor by the end of the 117th Congress. Since the Committee’s initial hearing, there has been additional reporting on suspicious trades by Members of Congress and their spouses.”

She continued, “We owe our constituents action — and the first step in the 118th Congress is for the Committee on House Administration to hold 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. We must continue the momentum we saw last year across the political spectrum and within our districts to make reforms now.”

Spanberger’s Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act would make sure Members of Congress cannot use their positions in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate to unethically inform investment decisions, influence the value of their existing investments, or contribute to greater distrust between the American people and their elected officials. Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — would be required to put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust during their entire tenure in Congress, effectively banning them from trading individual stocks.

Spanberger and U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) reintroduced their TRUST in Congress Act last month with the most original cosponsors it has ever received on day one. They originally introduced the bipartisan bill in June 2020 — and they reintroduced it in January 2021.

Click here to read Spanberger’s letter, and the full letter text is below.

Dear Chair Steil and Ranking Member Morelle,

I urge you to swiftly schedule a hearing on proposals to reform stock trading practices by Members of Congress, including our bipartisan “Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act” (H.R.345).

The TRUST in Congress Act would require Members, their spouses, and their dependent children to sell their stocks or place them into a qualified blind trust during their time in office. I first introduced this bipartisan bill in 2020 following reports of suspiciously well-timed trades by Members of Congress amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Last Congress, the TRUST in Congress Act received the most bipartisan support of any effort to prevent Members of Congress from using their positions of power to inform investment decisions. In the 118th Congress, our bill already has more than 50 cosponsors across the political spectrum.

As you know, the Committee on House Administration held a hearing on reforms to Member stock trading practices in April 2022. Unfortunately, the Committee failed to hold a markup on potential legislation to bring to the House floor by the end of the 117th Congress. Since the Committee’s initial hearing, there has been additional reporting on suspicious trades by Members of Congress and their spouses. For example, reporting from September 2022 showed that nearly 100 Members bought or sold stocks that intersected with their Congressional work and committees of jurisdiction. Another report revealed how some Members outperformed the stock market, despite a challenging year for Wall Street. Recently, two new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were launched allowing Americans to follow Members’ stock transactions.

We owe our constituents action – and the first step in the 118th Congress is for the Committee on House Administration to hold 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.

We must continue the momentum we saw last year across the political spectrum and within our districts to make reforms now. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

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