WASHINGTON D.C. — On Tuesday, U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced legislation to ban members of Congress and their families from buying and selling stocks while in office.
The Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act will require all members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children to place their stocks into a blind trust or divest the holding — ensuring they cannot use inside information to influence their stock trades and make a profit.
The American people overwhelmingly support this policy, with 86 percent saying they back the measure, including 88 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans, and 81 percent of Independents.
Kelly is the only member of Congress to take the following three transparency and accountability steps: place his assets in qualified blind trusts, release his official Senate schedule, and not take corporate PAC contributions to his campaign.
Ossoff, a former investigative journalist whose company exposed corruption around the world, fulfilled his pledge to put his own stock portfolio in a blind trust in 2021.
According to Insider, Kelly and Ossoff were two of only ten sitting members of Congress last Congress to place their portfolios in blind trusts.
Kelly and Ossoff’s bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
“Elected officials don’t just make policy, they also have access to valuable information that shapes different industries and the entire economy. Members of Congress should be focused on representing their constituents, not their stock portfolios,” Kelly said. “I’m reintroducing this legislation with Sen. Ossoff to prevent corrupt insider trading and make Washington work better for Arizonans.”
“Members of Congress should not be playing the stock market while we make Federal policy and have extraordinary access to confidential information,” Sen. Ossoff said. “Stock trading by members of Congress massively erodes public confidence in Congress with serious appearance of impropriety, which is why we should ban stock trading by members of Congress altogether.”
“When I make decisions in the Senate, I’m guided by what’s best for the people back home in Georgia,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “When Congress centers people instead of their own pocketbooks, we make better policy. That’s why I’m supporting the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act to prevent Members of Congress from owning individual stocks so the American people can be sure their interests are being represented.”
“It’s critical that the American public trust that their members of Congress are working for their communities, and not in their own self interest,” said Sen. Luján. “I’m proud to join my colleagues on the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act. This legislation will help ensure the lines of profiting and governance do not cross, and ultimately build trust between the American people and Congress.”
“Elected representatives should not be using confidential information to trade stocks and line their own pockets. It’s just wrong. Our constituents send us to Congress to serve them, not our own financial interest,” said Senator Baldwin. “By adding common-sense guardrails for members of Congress, we can help root out corruption in Washington and ensure that members of Congress are focused on delivering for the American people, not enriching themselves.”
“My colleagues and I in Congress were elected to look out for the best interests of our constituents, not our own financial interests—and the American people deserve confidence that is the case,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m proud to help introduce the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act with Senators Ossoff and Kelly to help restore trust in our government as well as strengthen integrity and transparency in Washington.”