Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Matt Gaetz Team Up to Ban Lawmakers from Owning Stocks

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers, including Republican Representative Matt Gaetz and Democrat Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are banding together to push for a stock trading ban via HR 3003 or the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act.

The bill, introduced by Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, would restrict members of Congress, their spouses, and dependents from owning or trading stocks while in office. 

It would also require those who already hold stocks to divest them within 90 days or to put them in a “qualified blind trust” approved by House ethics officials. Currently, per the 2012 STOCK Act, lawmakers are allowed to trade provided that they disclose transactions and (in good faith) do not trade using insider knowledge.

“The fact that Members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Fitzpatrick said in a statement, the three representatives are joined by Democratic Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi.

The measure is one of many attempts to stem concerns over an apparent increase in instances of lawmakers being found to have traded stocks after attending confidential briefings at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, or more recently the vote on the CHIPS Act, and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

“When Members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “It’s really that simple.” Ocasio-Cortez recently called on Senator Dianne Feinstein to resign over her questionable stock trading.

If passed, the bill will not prevent members of Congress and their families from investing in widely held investment funds and Treasury bonds and in the retirement plan for federal employees (FERS).

Information for this story was found via Twitter, CBS News, MarketWatch, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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