WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) joined Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) and a bipartisan group of House colleagues to call on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to quickly hold a vote on legislation to ban members of Congress from trading stocks. The letter comes after a year in which rules governing stock trading by members of Congress and their staff were broken hundreds of times, often without repercussions.
“Congress should close these loopholes by simply banning members from owning or trading individual stocks while in office,” wrote the lawmakers. “There is no reason that members of Congress need to be allowed to trade stocks when we should be focused on doing our jobs and serving our constituents. Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities. We don’t care.”
In their letter, the members of Congress noted that the STOCK Act, which was passed in 2012 to prevent members of Congress from using congressional knowledge to their advantage in stock trading, has been violated hundreds of times by members of Congress and their staff since 2020. Few of those who broke these rules faced repercussions. Some of the most concerning examples of this impropriety took place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when senators from both parties made significant stock sales after receiving closed briefings on the emergence of COVID-19 but before the pandemic was fully understood by the public and impacting the market.
Joining Fitzpatrick and Golden to push for a vote on the stock trading ban for members of Congress were Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Susan Wild (PA-07), Conor Lamb (PA-17), Katie Porter (CA-45, Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chuy García (IL-04), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Angie Craig (MN-02), Kathleen Rice (NY-04), Andy Levin (MI-09), Bill Foster (IL-11), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Tim Ryan (OH-13), Greg Stanton (AZ-09), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Haley Stevens (MI-11).
In their letter, the bipartisan group urged House leadership to swiftly bring the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, the TRUST in Congress Act, or similar legislation to the floor.
The bipartisan Ban Conflicted Trading Act, introduced by Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), would ban members of Congress and certain staff from:
- Holding or trading individual stocks, except through a blind trust
- Holding seats as a member or an officer for any for-profit boards.
The bipartisan TRUST in Congress Act, introduced by Congresswomen Abigail Spanberger (D-VA), would ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks and require members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children to:
- Place any individual stocks in a blind trust
- Only end that blind trust requirement 180 days after the end of their tenure as a member of Congress.
The letter represents the largest bipartisan effort to date to pressure leadership to take action to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.
Read a copy of the letter to House leaders here.