Spanberger Presses for Vote on Bill to Ban Members of Congress from Trading Individual Stocks

Spanberger Joins 19 Colleagues in Bipartisan Effort Urging U.S. House Leadership to Bring Legislation to House Floor to Ban Members of Congress from Owning & Trading Individual Stocks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in urging U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson and U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to hold a vote on legislation that would ban Members of Congress from trading individual stocks, like her bipartisan Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act.

Spanberger’s TRUST in Congress Act would require Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — to put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust during their entire tenure in Congress, effectively banning them from trading individual stocks. She is leading this legislation alongside U.S. Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) — and 73 Democrats and Republicans have cosponsored the bill since it was reintroduced in January 2023.

“Americans across the political spectrum and across the country are tired of seeing headline after headline suggesting that lawmakers are profiting off their access to privileged information. For more than four years, I’ve led an effort to remove even the perception of impropriety by removing lawmakers’ ability to play the stock market — and I’ve been grateful for the support of Congressman Golden, Congressman Fitzpatrick, and dozens of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle,” said Spanberger. “As we enter the final stretch of the 118th Congress, I urge Speaker Johnson to build on our bipartisan momentum and bring bipartisan legislation to the U.S. House floor that would ban Members of Congress from trading individual stocks. Because Members of Congress should be focused on the people they serve — not their own stock portfolios.”

In a letter to Speaker Johnson and Leader Jeffries, Spanberger — alongside U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME-2), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), and 17 of their colleagues — outlined strong, bipartisan public support for banning Members of Congress from trading individual stocks. The lawmakers also reminded U.S. House leadership of their previous inclination to bring a congressional stock trading ban to the floor of the U.S. House for a vote.

“Recent investigations have found that 1 in 7 members violated the STOCK Act in the 117th Congress, 97 members traded stocks in companies impacted by their committee assignments from 2019 to 2021, and members outperformed the S&P 500 by 17.5% in 2022. It is abundantly clear that more is needed to stop this type of behavior that is not only unethical but also undermines the public trust in our democratic institutions,” wrote Spanberger and her colleagues. “Fortunately, several bipartisan bills to prohibit members from owning or trading stocks have been introduced in the House. Our constituents across the political spectrum support these efforts. According to recent polling, 86 percent of Americans– including 87 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats, and 81 percent of Independents– support prohibiting members of Congress and their families from trading stocks.”

Their letter continued, “It’s been nearly two years since House leadership committed to holding a vote on a bill to reform stock trading practices for Members of Congress. In a hyper-partisan political environment where American approval ratings of Congress are at an all-time low, this is a common-sense and bipartisan change, making it crystal clear that we come to Washington to serve our constituents, not to serve our own financial interests.”

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

Dear Speaker Johnson and Minority Leader Jeffries:

We are writing to respectfully urge you to hold a vote on legislation to prohibit members of Congress from owning or trading stocks. As we head into the last few months of the 118th Congress, we believe that taking action on this common-sense, bipartisan legislation will ensure that members of Congress are serving the country and their constituents, not their bank accounts.

As you know, Congress passed the STOCK Act in 2012 to prevent members of Congress from using non-public information that they receive in the course of their work for personal stock trading benefits. However, recent investigations have found that 1 in 7 members violated the STOCK Act in the 117th Congress, 97 members traded stocks in companies impacted by their committee assignments from 2019 to 2021, and members outperformed the S&P 500 by 17.5% in 2022. It is abundantly clear that more is needed to stop this type of behavior that is not only unethical but also undermines the public trust in our democratic institutions.

Fortunately, several bipartisan bills to prohibit members from owning or trading stocks have been introduced in the House. Our constituents across the political spectrum support these efforts. According to recent polling, 86 percent of Americans– including 87 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of Democrats, and 81 percent of Independents– support prohibiting members of Congress and their families from trading stocks.

It’s been nearly two years since House leadership committed to holding a vote on a bill to reform stock trading practices for Members of Congress. In a hyper-partisan political environment where American approval ratings of Congress are at an all-time low, this is a common-sense and bipartisan change, making it crystal clear that we come to Washington to serve our constituents, not to serve our own financial interests.

We stand ready to work with you to advance this important legislative priority into law. Let’s get this done.

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