WASHINGTON — House of President Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders have revealed a plan to draft a law banning congressmen from selling shares trading stocks, after months of refusing to be banned by Pelosi, was confirmed on Wednesday.
By order of Pelosi, the House Judiciary is working on drafting legislation, and the law is expected to be voted on this year, ahead of the mid-November elections.
In the Senate, many election ban bans are being considered, including one drafted by the progressive Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines.
“Once elected, you came to serve the people, not the elite, and [the stock market ban] I think is a step forward, an important step forward, to restore the trust and confidence of the American people. This,” Daines said Wednesday.
Many questions remain about what types of planting may be banned, what incoming members will be required to comply with the new law, and whether family members of legal representatives will also be banned from selling shares.
Meanwhile, Pelosi’s support for the ban on trading stocks in the House, first reported by Punchbowl News, represents the speaker’s face-to-face and comes after years of congressional leaders across the street rejecting the idea of stopping planting members Congress can deal.
In the past, opponents of the ban on trading stocks in Congress have argued that it would be detrimental to try to find the most competitive people to compete with. Meanwhile, most of their families have been enriched by investing in the stock market, including that of Pelosi.
In recent months, however, Pelosi and his top executives have been under intense pressure from a member-post-file to act and pass a ban on trading stocks.
Those calls for growing incentives were raised in part by the growing public support for police barriers to selling shares.
A recent poll by a group of lawmakers found that 76% of voters believed lawmakers and their spouses were “wrong” in the stock market. The same survey, conducted by the Convention of States Act, also found that only 5% of potential voters were approved by the Congress of stock options.
They also point to the failure of new revelations about widespread violations of the existing law, the STOCK Act of 2012, which is designed to prevent domestic trade and conflict of interest in Congress.
Just last year, 54 members violated the STOCK Act, according to a Business Insider review published earlier this year.
The question at the heart of the stock market is whether congressmen have a bad chance at the trading stocks market because they have daily information that is not available to the public.
Examples of this type of information include brief notes on national security issues, information on legal plans, and non-public information on the law, finance, and tax law. Any of these could lead to a conflict of interest for a legislator who owned and sold shares in a company that would be affected by this information.
“The goal here is to make sure members and their spouses don’t trade or hold shares and bonds etc.,” Daines said Wednesday. “Listen, you put your stuff in a blind trust, you still know what kind of stuff you put in that blind trust. That’s the truth, and we’re trying to reduce the conflict of interest here.”
But as the trading stocks market law begins in the House and Senate, members will have to seek consensus between different terms.
Definitions are open to debate
Several bills mentioned so far would require congressmen to place a stock portfolio in an outdated trust, which would be run by an independent trust that could buy and sell shares without the knowledge of the members.
But a bill Daines and Warren plan to introduce goes too far and has banned members from even owning shares. This means that newly elected members of Congress must sell their shares, even if such a sale would be financially profitable.
Some trading stocks exchanges differ on important factors such as whether they will apply to pairs of children and children, and what investment is allowed.
But another issue of dispute is how the violation of any prohibition against the sale of shares would be dealt with. Penalties can range from mild penalties such as written warnings to severe penalties, such as large fines or loss of committee functions.
There may also be opposition from members who feel that the ban on trading stocks options deprives them of their right to participate in free markets and that it punishes them severely for their choice of public office.
These were the sentiments behind Pelosi’s negative response in December to a journalist’s question whether he would support a ban on selling shares to congressmen.
“We are a free market economy. They should be able to do the same,” he said.
But the answer quickly went awry, especially since Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, had invested tens of millions of dollars in stores. Spokesman Pelosi continued to insist that he did not own any shares.