Of More Than 1,900 Submissions, More than 92 Percent of Respondents Oppose Allowing Lawmakers, Their Spouses, & Their Dependent Children to Buy, Trade, or Sell Individual Stocks
WOODBRIDGE, Va. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the initial results of her survey asking Virginians if they believe Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children should be allowed to personally buy, trade, or sell individual stocks while serving in Congress.
In one week since launching the survey, Spanberger’s office has received more than 1,900 responses from Virginians who made their voices heard on this issue. Of those responses, more than 92 percent oppose allowing lawmakers to make decisions as to which individual stocks they are buying, trading, or selling while serving in the U.S. House or U.S. Senate.
Earlier this year, Spanberger reintroduced her bipartisan Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust (TRUST) in Congress Act to effectively ban Members of Congress — as well as their spouses and dependent children — from trading individual stocks. Specifically, the legislation would require lawmakers and their families to put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust during their entire tenure in Congress. The legislation now has more than 50 Democratic and Republican cosponsors.
“Prohibiting Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from buying, trading, or selling stocks while serving in elected office is a necessary step towards restoring trust between the American public and their elected officials,” said Spanberger. “Congress should be taking concrete, proactive steps to avoid even the potential perception of self-dealing, which is why I have reintroduced the bipartisan TRUST in Congress Act and will continue moving it forward in the U.S. House. Over the last week, Virginians made clear that they agree that lawmakers should be prohibited from unfairly informing their own investment decisions.”
Some of the 1,934 responses that Virginians have already submitted through the survey include:
“As a federal employee and OGE 450 filer, my financial decisions need to be disclosed on an annual basis and I am not allowed to buy stocks in certain companies. Why should the members of Congress have a lower obligation/responsibility?” — Sherry, Prince William County
“As a former local elected official, I firmly believe that our elected representatives should put their knowledge and effort into working for the public good. Profiting while in office from the knowledge or influence gained from their positions is a violation of the public trust. One would hope that elected officials would refrain from such activities voluntarily, but unfortunately that has not proven to be the case in some instances.” — George, Fredericksburg
“Just as you have explained very clearly, insider information should be illegal, especially to congress, as well as anyone else in government that has insider information. Representatives and Senators are elected to carry out their duties in good faith with honesty and integrity. Hard to see any of that in most of them these days. You are an exception.” — Carlton, Spotsylvania County
“Members of Congress should serve the public without serving their own interests.” — Timothy, Culpeper County
“Members of Congress and their family members are informed in advance of pending actions that impact stock market actions. They have no ethical business to gain any financial advantage over market prices.” — Jim, Stafford County
“People do not mind millionaires becoming members of Congress. They do not want members of Congress ‘becoming’ millionaires while in office, or even the appearance of it.” — William, Spotsylvania County
Spanberger originally introduced the TRUST in Congress Act in June 2020.