New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley are introducing bipartisan legislation that would prevent members of the executive and legislative branches — as well as their spouses and children — from trading individual company stocks.
The legislation will also ban blind trusts, require increased filing transparency, and significantly increases penalties for violations, including fines of at least 10% of the value of the prohibited investments for members of Congress.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is critical that the American people know that their elected leaders are putting the public first – not looking for ways to line their own pockets,” Gillibrand said in a statement.
The Senate bill builds upon a proposed bill in the House that would ban members from trading stocks, but did allow members of Congress, their spouses and their dependent children to put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust while the member is in office. The Senate’s version would ban that provision.
“Politicians and civil servants shouldn’t spend their time day-trading and trying to make a profit at the expense of the American public, but that’s exactly what so many are doing,” Hawley said. “My bill with Senator Gillibrand is common sense: ban elected and executive branch officials from trading or holding stocks, and put the American public first.”