Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are leading a bipartisan group of House members to propose a plan prohibiting politicians from owning and trading individual stocks.
JUST IN: US Representatives Matt Gaetz & AOC introduce a bipartisan bill to ban Congress members from trading and owning stocks.
Do you support this? pic.twitter.com/LzGLRIGSaH
— shaneyyricch (@shaneyyricch) May 2, 2023
The bill, known as “The Bipartisan Faith in Government Act,” would also prohibit congressional spouses and other dependents from owning or trading stock. It would not prohibit members of Congress and their families from investing in investment or Treasury bonds, and it allows contributions to the government’s retirement plan.
Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) are joining Gaetz and Ocasio-Cortez in sponsoring the legislation.
“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.
“The ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “When Members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple.”
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans,” Gaetz said. “We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country.”
The legislation appears to be the strictest proposed ban on stock trading so far.
A bill introduced by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Chip Roy (R-TX), called the TRUST in Congress Act, would require members of Congress and their families to wait until they’ve left office to invest in blind trusts.
“Rep. Spanberger appreciates continued momentum behind the push to ban members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from trading individual stocks,” Spanberger’s spokesman told The Post Tuesday.
Fitzpatrick and Gaetz have supported Spanberger and Roy’s bill, but Ocasio-Cortez has not.
In March 2023, several members of Congress invested in bank stocks after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank, including Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who co-sponsored the TRUST in Congress Act.
In 2012, Congress passed the STOCK Act, which allowed members to purchase and sell stocks as long as they report their transactions. Various reports about stock holdings that present potential conflicts of interest have led to bipartisan calls for stricter restrictions.