Democrats planning legislation to ban stock trading in Congress, report says, after Insider exposed widespread wrongdoing

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  • House Democrats plan to unveil a ban on stock trading soon, Punchbowl News reported.
  • The outlet said that a plan could come in August with votes in Congress in September.
  • It comes after Insider found widespread violations of a law designed to prevent insider trading.

House Democrats are close to introducing a ban on stock trading for members of Congress, their spouses, and senior staff members, Punchbowl News reported, citing multiple unnamed sources.

The ban would make these lawmakers, spouses, and staffers choose between putting their assets in a blind trust — giving up control to an independent third party — or selling them altogether, Punchbowl reported.

The move came in the wake of Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project, which showed widespread violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

The 2012 law was designed to combat insider trading by requiring timely disclosure of stock transactions, but is widely flouted.

Democrats plan to unveil their plan in early August, Punchbowl reported, with the potential for votes in Congress in September.

The plan would still let lawmakers hold mutual funds, per Punchbowl.

“We’re almost ready to move forward on this,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the House Administration Committee, told Punchbowl on Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been under pressure to introduce the ban. She initially said she opposed such a ban, but reversed her position earlier this year.

Some Republicans have shown support for curbing lawmakers’ stock trades, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying he would consider introducing a ban if the GOP wins control of the House in the 2022 midterms. However, Republican lawmakers appear to be split over the issue.

Pelosi’s husband, the venture capitalist Paul Pelosi, has also been under the spotlight recently. Insider found that since 2021 he had made tens of millions of dollars in stock and stock option trades involving 19 companies.

Pelosi says her husband has never made stock trades based on any information she’s given him.