A bipartisan proposal to prohibit members of Congress, high-ranking members of the executive branch, and their families from possessing and trading equities has been submitted by Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
This week, Hawley and Gillibrand stated that they intended to introduce the “Ban Stock Trading for the Government Officials Act,” which would outlaw holding as well as trading stocks by members of Congress, the vice president, the president, and other top executive branch officials, as well as the spouses along with dependents.
Additionally, the plan does not establish an exception for blind trusts while imposing severe sanctions on Congressmen who violate the rules. The individuals who are determined to have violated the rules must pay at least 10% of the total worth of the investments that were forbidden.
According to a statement from Hawley, “Politicians and government officials should refrain from spending their time day trading and attempting to make a profit at the cost of the American public, but that is precisely what many of them are doing.”
“My measure, which I co-sponsored with Senator Gillibrand, puts the interests of the American people first by prohibiting the trading or holding of securities by elected and executive branch officials.”
Members of Congress would not be exempt from the plan’s requirement that top executives pay the Treasury Department any earnings coming from covered financial interests.
The president, vice president, and top executive officials as well as members of Congress are obligated to submit reports any time they, their spouses, or their dependents apply for or are given a benefit of value coming from the federal government. This includes loans, agreements, grants, contracts, and payments.
The Act was passed in response to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm lying to Congress about her financial holdings.
According to Breitbart News, Granholm informed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in a letter this past month that she and her husband had owned individual stocks in businesses that her agency regulates as recently as May.
More than a month had passed since Granholm’s deceptive testimony to the committee, in which she claimed she didn’t hold individual stocks and responded “No, I’ve only invested into mutual funds” to Hawley’s question, “Do you currently hold individual stocks, Madam Secretary?”