Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bipartisan plan to ban members of Congress, senior officials across the executive branch, and their family members from holding and trading stocks.
Hawley and Gillibrand announced this week plans to file the “Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act” which would, among other things, prohibit members of Congress, the president, vice president, senior executive branch members, and their spouses and dependents from holding or trading stocks.
Likewise, the plan makes no exception for blind trusts while imposing heavy penalties for members of Congress who fail to comply with the requirements. Those who are found to violate the requirements would have to pay at least 10 percent of the value of the prohibited investments.
“Politicians and civil servants shouldn’t spend their time day-trading and trying to make a profit at the expense of the American public, but that’s exactly what so many are doing,” Hawley said in a statement:
My bill with Senator Gillibrand is common sense: Ban elected and executive branch officials from trading or holding stocks, and put the American public first.
In addition to members of Congress, the plan would require senior executive officials to disgorge profits from covered financial interests to the Treasury Department.
Also, members of Congress, senior congressional staff, the president, vice president, and senior executive officials would be required to report any time they, a spouse, or a dependent applies for or receives a benefit of value from the federal government — including loans, agreements, contracts, grants, and payments.
The legislation comes after Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm falsely told lawmakers that she did not hold stocks when, in fact, she did.
Last month, as Breitbart News reported, Granholm told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in a letter that she and her husband had held individual stocks in companies that her department oversees — as recently as May of this year.
The admission came more than a month after Granholm falsely testified before the committee that she did not hold individual stocks, saying “No, I’m invested in mutual funds” when Hawley asked, “Do you own individual stocks, Madam Secretary?”
Granholm, in 2021, reportedly violated the STOCK Act when she failed to properly report nine stock trades, including her selling shares of Uber, Redfin, and Gilead Sciences Inc., which enjoys lucrative government contracts.
Banning members of Congress, senior executive officials, and their family members from trading stocks is hugely popular among Americans.
Last year, a Trafalgar Group survey revealed that 76 percent believe Congress has an “unfair advantage” when it comes to the stock market. Only five percent support permitting congressional stock trading.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.