Spanberger, Roy: Today’s STOCK Act Hearing Positive Step, But “Meaningless” Without Further Action

The Virginia Democrat & Texas Republican First Introduced their “TRUST in Congress Act” in June 2020 Following Reports of Lawmakers in Both Parties Using Privileged Information to Profit Off the COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Chip Roy (R-TX-21) — lead sponsors of the bipartisan TRUST in Congress Act —  today released the following statement ahead of this morning’s U.S. House Administration Committee hearing on “Examining Stock Trading Reforms For Congress.”

“Over the past few months, we have seen growing momentum behind our push to ban lawmakers and their immediate families from trading individual stocks. Today’s hearing shows that pressure and public opinion can indeed force a reckoning with Washington’s status quo. We are encouraged by this step, and we thank the witnesses from good governance organizations for their partnership on our push and for their testimony today.

“But while this hearing represents positive progress in the long journey to restore the American people’s trust in their elected officials, it will ultimately prove to be a meaningless delay tactic if not accompanied by action. Our TRUST in Congress Act would get at the root of the problem by requiring Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children to place their assets either in broadly traded mutual funds or in a blind trust while in office.

“Since introducing our legislation, Republicans and Democrats alike — from Texas conservatives to California progressives — have backed our idea. There is resounding support for our commonsense legislation, and it would serve as a strong starting place to allow representatives to debate, amend, and vote on the bill when it comes to the floor.  We are open to ideas, but we should start from legislation that has been filed for two years, is straightforward, and enjoys growing support.

“Our nation faces many challenges in the months ahead, and Members of the House and Senate need to be focused on serving the public — not serving themselves. Following today’s hearing, let’s take a straightforward legislative step to put the future of our country above the future of our financial portfolios.”

In January 2021, Spanberger and Roy reintroduced their Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act, bipartisan legislation to increase transparency and reduce opportunities for insider trading by requiring that Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust during their entire tenure in Congress.

The bipartisan bill now has nearly 60 cosponsors — the most of any effort to ban individual stock trading by both Members of Congress and their spouses. A companion bill was introduced by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) in January 2022.

Spanberger and Roy originally introduced the TRUST in Congress Act in June 2020. 

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