Senators Unveil Stock Trading Ban for Lawmakers

( – New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, a Republican, teamed up to introduce a bill banning lawmakers as well as administration officials from stock ownership. The Senate bill builds upon a bill that was proposed in the House.

The duo called the proposal the “most substantial bipartisan effort to ban stock trading.”

The Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act, which would apply to not just lawmakers and senior executive branch officials but also to their spouses and dependents, would establish stronger bans on both stock trading and disclosure requirements.

Under the proposal, the president, vice president, members of Congress,nd mmembers of the senior executive branch as well as spouses and dependents would be banned from holding or trading stocks There would be no exception to blind trusts.

If the ban is violated by members of Congress, they would be required to pay 10 percent or more of the banned investments.

If the ban is violated by members of the executive, the penalty would be giving profits from covered finance interests over to the Treasury Department. The Automatic Special Counsel would also impose a fine.

Members of Congress, senior congressional staff, senior executive branch employees, a spouse, or a dependent would be required to disclose if they had applied for or received a “benefit of value” from the federal government, such as a grant or loan. If the information was not filed, there would be a penalty of $500.

The proposal seeks to increase transparency by requiring public databases of personal financial disclosures as well as financial transaction filings that are required by the STOCK Act. Under the STOCK Act, members of Congress are prohibited from using insider information to buy and sell stocks. The penalty would be raised for failing to file the required reports from $200 to $500.

This is the latest bipartisan effort to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.

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