Congressional stock trading ban efforts stall
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Legislation that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks has stalled despite the bipartisan momentum behind it.
Between special briefings and influential votes, Congress has inside information about the stock market and potential power to move it. That’s why some lawmakers introduced legislation to stop members from trading stocks.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., introduced one of the House bills. She believes Democratic leadership is intentionally stalling the legislation.
“Which I think is unfortunate,” Spanberger said. “They’re certainly not listening to the calls of their members of Congress saying we want to do better.”
Her bill does have support from both parties. She believes it’s crucial to build trust and have transparency in Congress.
“We have briefings, we have meetings, we take votes that really could help inform us about the movement of the stock market or votes that could move the stock market,” Spanberger explained.
Similar efforts are also frozen in the Senate. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is behind one of the bills on the issue.
“The American people should be able to expect that when people come to Congress – they’re focused on the people’s business, they’re not focused on moneymaking,” Hawley said.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., thinks the frozen progress is just part of the negotiation process.
“Little bit of an effort to look at the bills and maybe take the best of each and combine them because there are multiple proposals,” Kaine said.
Kaine believes the Senate will vote on the issue eventually. But Hawley is skeptical about the chance of getting something done.
“There’s actually not a lot of support because elected officials don’t want to have to give up their financial interests and they don’t want to have to give up their stock holdings,” Hawley said.
Still, both Sen. Hawley and Rep. Spanberger say it’s a priority they’ll keep pushing for.
“I’ll continue to agitate but it might just be that we have to have new leadership before these bills can come to the floor,” Spanberger said.