Sen. Jacky Rosen backs bill to ban lawmakers from stock trading

Nevada US Sen. Jacky Rosen, right, talks alongside US Rep. Grace Meng at a Congressional bipartisan taskforce for combating antisemitism meeting on May 10, 2023. (Photo credit: US Sen. Jacky Rosen's office)

By Casey Harrison

May 24, 2024

While this is the latest effort to bar members of Congress from trading stocks while in office, similar efforts in the past have stalled.

Nevada Democratic US Sen. Jacky Rosen has become the latest federal lawmaker to announce their support for legislation that would ban members of Congress and their immediate families from trading on the stock market while in office.

Rosen on Thursday signed onto the Ending Trading and Holdings in Congressional Stocks (ETHICS) Act, which if enacted, would prohibit elected congressional representatives — as well as their spouses and dependents — from purchasing or selling certain investments such as individual stocks or other “related financial instruments.” Violators of the law would be subject to civil penalties.

Trading index or mutual funds, as well as buying and selling treasury bonds would still be permissible, however.

“No member of Congress should ever be allowed to enrich themselves through corrupt stock trading using information gained through their official duties,” Rosen said in a statement. “We need to clean up Washington and ensure all lawmakers are actually serving the public interest, which is why I’m supporting this common-sense legislation to prevent members of Congress from abusing their taxpayer-funded position for personal financial gain.

RELATED: Sen. Rosen endorses bill to curb wasteful government spending

“This comprehensive bill will strengthen congressional ethics and increase transparency.”

The bill states that members of Congress must certify they are complying with the legislation and get proper certification from the applicable House or Senate ethics office. Officials and their family would be required to disclose assets held in trusts, federal loans, grants or related benefits and make such information available online.

But the bill also has a provision that would let lawmakers and their families keep their investments for the remainder of their term, which Politico noted would allow members to consider the ban while also deciding whether to seek re-election.

The bill was first introduced last year by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and has 22 cosponsors to date — all Democrats. A version of the bill was also introduced in the US House and has 11 cosponsors to date — seven Democrats and four Republicans — and is awaiting consideration from the House Oversight and Judiciary committe

The effort to ban members of Congress from trading stocks is not new. Politico pointed out that members from both chambers have introduced several proposals within the last year, but none have advanced to a floor vote.

  • Casey Harrison

    Casey Harrison is political correspondent for The Nevadan. Previously, he covered politics and the Oakland Athletics' relocation to Southern Nevada for the Las Vegas Sun, and before that, was a digital producer at The Detroit News. Casey graduated from Michigan State University in 2019.



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