To preserve trust in our elected officials, congressional stock holding and trading must be banned. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, along with Project On Government Oversight, Campaign Legal Center, National Taxpayers Union and more than 20 other groups, today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs Gary Peters, urging them to prioritize advancing the Ending Trading and Holdings in Congressional Stocks (ETHICS) Act.
The ETHICS Act is the product of years of collaboration between senators, members of Congress, civil society groups and experts to turn these massively popular policies into law. The legislation bans members of Congress, their spouses and dependents from trading or holding stock except for registered diversified mutual funds. It also deters members of Congress and their families from trading or holding stocks by giving supervising ethics officials the ability to levy fines for noncompliance.
Routine reports of members from either party making suspicious trades or owning stock in companies they regulate have left the public disenchanted and distrustful of Congress and the motives of its members. With an overwhelming cross-partisan majority of Americans in support of banning congressional stock trading, Congress’s failure to act so far further fuels the decline in American’s trust that Congress can legislate in the people’s best interests. The American people deserve to know that the needs of the public, not members of Congress’s stock portfolios, come first. And they deserve to have their voices heard and their values represented in their government.
The American people are unified in their call for a congressional stock trading ban. It’s time Congress listened.