Democrats Unveil Bill to Restrict Trading by Lawmakers, Presidents




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-28 17:37:03Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- A House proposal to restrict stock ownership and trading by members of Congress, the president and vice president, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials is mired in Democratic in-fighting, threatening supporters' hopes for a pre-election victory.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Apple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand Falters

  • Germany Suspects Sabotage Hit Russia's Nord Stream Pipelines

  • Putin's Mobilization Hits Russia's Economy in Its Weak Spots

  • Russia Declares Victory in Sham Ukraine 'Referendums'

  • US Housing Prices Fall for First Time Since 2012

The bill's sponsors planned to introduce the legislation on Wednesday, but multiple House officials familiar with Democrats' discussions said any floor action on the bill almost certainly is shelved, at least for now. Lawmakers are scheduled to leave Washington this week until after the November election.

A spokesperson for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said late Tuesday that more details on the stock trading bill would be released as they become available.

Other officials, who did not want to be identified in discussing private conversations, described deep divisions among top party leaders over details of the bill, which was not released until late Tuesday night. Democrats in competitive races, meanwhile, oppose parts of the legislation and don't want to take a politically difficult vote just weeks before the election, the officials said. A group of senators is drafting their own legislation, but it hasn't been unveiled and the Senate doesn't have any immediate plans to take up the bill.

But other Democrats are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants to act before the midterm elections on good-governance legislation taking aim at conflicts of interest at the highest levels of the government. Forcing a vote now has the added bonus of putting Republicans on the spot, they said.

Top Democrats plan to gather Wednesday in a meeting that could decide the path forward.

The bill's trade and ownership restrictions cover commodities, futures, cryptocurrency or other digital assets as well as stocks. Also covered are interests acquired through derivatives, including options.

The legislation would require public officials to divest current holdings or put them in a blind trust. It would also tighten disclosure requirements and increase penalties for violations.

The bill would apply to the spouses and dependent children of the listed officials, as indicated last week to lawmakers in an outline by House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat.

That has been a point of contention, with some attention falling on Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi. Some of his recent transactions, while legal, helped to draw renewed attention to the current law governing lawmakers' trades that critics say should be changed. A Pelosi spokesperson didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on the bill.

According to the bill's text, the "supervising ethics office" for each government branch would be called on to issue regulations implementing the the bill's provisions within 180 days of the bill's enactment.

Congressional leaders have faced intensifying calls in the past year to adopt new rules governing lawmakers' financial activities. A New York Times analysis of disclosure forms published earlier this month found that from 2019 to 2021, almost 100 senators and representatives reported that they or an immediate family member traded a stock or other financial asset that had some overlap with issues before congressional committees on which they served.

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • As Home Prices Surge, Americans Are Moving to Cheaper Places

  • Mental Health Crisis Leads Hospitals to Create a New Type of ER

  • The Supreme Court Is About to Display Its Power Imbalance Again

  • Google's Low-Tech Plan to Solve the Opioid Crisis

  • Fighting Inflation at the Grocery Store, German Style

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

NY MTA Faces $3 Billion Hole in 2025 on Slow Subway Rebound
NY MTA Faces $3 Billion Hole in 2025 on Slow Subway Rebound

(Bloomberg) -- New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority needs to boost fares above its expected 4% hike and may be forced to cut service and...

Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Says 6 Million Are Without Electricity
Ukraine Latest: Zelenskiy Says 6 Million Are Without Electricity

(Bloomberg) -- Six million consumers in Ukraine are without electricity after Russia's intensive attacks on the country's energy infrastructure, President...

Republicans Vote to Continue Spending Earmarks Next Year
Republicans Vote to Continue Spending Earmarks Next Year

(Bloomberg) -- House Republicans voted to keep earmarks for annual spending bills when they take control of the House next year, marking a significant...

Wall Street Analysts Haven
Wall Street Analysts Haven't Been This Bullish on Tesla Since 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. is getting a strong show of faith from a group that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk once blasted for doubting the company's...

House passes legislation to avert
House passes legislation to avert 'catastrophic' rail strike, provide rail workers paid sick leave

Biden, Pelosi and other Democratic leaders were reluctant to get involved in a labor dispute but said a strike would devastate the nation's economy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business