Opinion

Democrat Rep. Calls Proposed Ban On Congressional Stock Trading ‘Bulls**t’

As the debate heats up about whether or not members of Congress and their families should be able to trade stock, Virginia Democrat Rep. Elaine Luria had a colorful description of a proposed bill that would ban the practice

In an interview with Punchbowl News, Luria declared that the proposed ban was “Bulls**t!” Following the classy characterization of the bill, Luria continued to explain her opposition to the bill, which is quite interesting. 

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Here’s Why Rep. Luria Is Opposed To The Bill

Rep. Luria continued as to why she was opposed to the new bill.

“Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that.”

Quite the interesting argument. After all, why would you vote for someone you suspect may be unethical or use their position to their own benefit? 

On the other hand, trading stock has proven to be a lucrative side gig for members of Congress just getting by on their $174,000 a year. Currently, Rep. Luria herself owns between $1 million-$5 million worth of Facebook shares and NVIDIA stock, and $500,000-$1 million worth of Netflix shares. 

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Already A Law On The Books

While probably not many Americans know it, but there is already a law on the books regarding sitting members of Congress and playing the stock market. The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK, passed in 2012, and was designed to create more transparency about lawmakers’ dealings in the stock market.

It was also – ostensibly – designed to curb insider trading. Of course, the devil’s in the details.

The fine for violating the STOCK act is a minimal one, a $200 slap on the wrist. Excuses for violations of the law include not knowing the law existed and accountant errors. 

Recently, Business Insider reported that in 2021, as many as 55 members of Congress were identified as failing to properly report financial trades as is required by the STOCK act.

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Americans On Board With Congressional Stock Ban

Americans have been on board with prohibiting members of Congress from trading stock for a while. A survey done by a group called Convention of States Action showed that 76% of voters think that Congress members and their spouses have an “unfair advantage” when it comes to the stock market. Just five percent of those participating in the survey approved of Congress members trading stocks, 19% had no opinion.

The latest bill, the TRUST Act was introduced into Congress in January by Elaine Luria’s fellow Virginia Democrat lawmaker, Rep. Abigail Spanberger. The bill would require members of Congress, their spouses, and dependent children to put all investments into a blind trust until 6 months after they have left Congress.

Becky Noble

Becky Noble, a political blogger and writer for over 10 years, lives by the motto, “Being normal is not necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage.” Becky holds a degree in journalism from Regent University.

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