Over and over, bills are introduced by our elected representatives on both sides of the aisle to prohibit members of Congress from trading individual stocks. The bills have been introduced under multiple names and have had different groups of co-sponsors. All have been “dead on arrival” without further consideration.

The most recent bill, H.R.3003 Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act would prohibit members of Congress, their spouses, and any dependents from owning and trading individual stocks and require all members and covered family members who currently own stocks to divest them or place them in a “qualified blind trust” during their tenure. The bill does not affect the government’s retirement plan, investment funds, or Treasury bonds. It would give members 90 days to divest their stock holdings, and House ethics officials must approve blind trusts.

The STOCK Act of 2012 allows members to buy and sell stocks if they don’t use insider information and disclose all transactions. This doesn’t go far enough. These questions remain:

• Is congressional leadership not interested in complete transparency?
• Why have these bills never received a full House vote?
• Do our elected representatives not think they are accountable to the people who elected them?
• When members have access to classified or sensitive inside information, why are they trading stocks based on information the public doesn’t have?
• If the annual salary for a member of Congress is $174,000, how are many of them now millionaires?

Trust in government must be restored. Congress must police itself to ensure no conflicts of interest occur and decisions are not made based on their own financial investments.

H.R.3003 has been referred to the House Way and Means Committee and the Committee on House Administration. We demand a vote on this bill!

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