Politics

Dem Sen Ossoff Wants To Ban Lawmakers And Families From Trading Stocks

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Freshman Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff wants to ban members of Congress from trading individual stock while in office, a report claimed on Saturday.

The Georgia senator is reportedly looking for a Republican co-sponsor for the Ossoff ethics bill, which would prevent lawmakers and their families from participating in the stock market for the duration of their Congressional term, according to the New York Post.

Ossoff is likely to face powerful opposition within his own party.

Crackdowns on members of Congress trading stock have been opposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose husband made millions of dollars in individual stock trades just last month alone.

At 34 years old, Ossoff is the youngest sitting senator. He is also one of only 10 sitting members of Congress — which has 535 voting members — to put his financial assets in a qualified blind trust, a Congressionally-approved arrangement where a lawmaker transfers control over their assets to an independent entity.

His planned legislation could also reportedly force his colleagues to do the same.

With the exception of the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act), which makes it illegal for lawmakers to use non-public information for private profit and requires them to publicly disclose stock and bond transactions within 45 days, there are few guardrails in place on Congress’ private dollars.

Pelosi flatly refused to support a ban on legislators’ market activity when asked about the issue at a mid-December press conference.

‘We’re a free market economy,’ the Speaker told reporters on December 15. ‘They [lawmakers] should be able to participate in that.’

During the height of the coronavirus pandemic multiple legislators faced accusations of profiting off the stock market just before the economy plummeted and upended millions of Americans’ lives.

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The accusations prompted Justice Department investigations into the financial activity of Senators Dianne Feinstein, James Inhofe and Richard Burr, as well as former Senator Kelly Loeffler. All four probes have since been closed.

As many as 49 legislators and 182 Congressional staffers were found to have violated the STOCK Act by reporting their trades late from January through… (Read more)

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