WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after U.S. House leadership failed to bring any bill to the floor that would ban Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from buying, selling, and trading individual stocks.
“Our job as elected officials is to serve the people — not ourselves. That’s why I’ve been proud to lead the charge on legislation to ban Members of Congress and their immediate families from trading individual stocks — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because the Virginians I represent overwhelmingly support it and want us to get it done. Since the early days of the pandemic, I have worked with lawmakers from both parties — and across the ideological spectrum — to earn their support for my bipartisan bill, the TRUST in Congress Act, to require individual stock holdings be divested or placed in a qualified blind trust while in office. Our commonsense proposal demonstrated that many Democrats and Republicans alike take this issue seriously and are listening to the voices of the people.
“For months, momentum grew in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to finally take a step towards prohibiting Members of Congress from day trading while on the job. We saw remarkable progress towards rectifying glaring examples of conflicts of interest. And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position. However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics, hand-waving gestures, and blatant instances of Lucy pulling the football.
“This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known. Rather than bring Members of Congress together who are passionate about this issue, leadership chose to ignore these voices, push them aside, and look for new ways they could string the media and the public along — and evade public criticism. As part of their diversionary tactics, the House Administration Committee was tasked with creating a new piece of legislation — and they ultimately introduced a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival, with only days remaining before the end of the legislative session and no time to fix it.
“It’s apparent that House leadership does not have its heart in this effort, because the package released earlier this week was designed to fail. It was written to create confusion surrounding reform efforts and complicate a straightforward reform priority — banning Members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks — all while creating the appearance that House Leadership wanted to take action.
“In the months ahead, I will be dogged in my efforts to ban Members of Congress from using the privilege of their position to profit. I look forward to working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues to get these reforms done.”