A new bipartisan bill backed by more than a dozen lawmakers would ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Sen. Rafael Warnock (D., Ga.) introduced the bill in the Senate on Wednesday.
The Ban Conflicting Trading Act would prohibit members of Congress and senior congressional staff from buying or selling individual stocks and other investments. It would also keep them from serving on corporate boards while in office.
The bill's backers argue lawmakers and senior staffers have access to to advance notice of investigations, hearings and legislation that could impact stock prices. Last year, several senators came under fire for selling stock ahead of the coronavirus-related downturn. The Department of Justice investigated those senators and ultimately decided not to pursue any charges.
The STOCK Act, passed during the Obama administration, explicitly forbids members of Congress from trading on non-public information — but the new bill would hold lawmakers to a higher standard.
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