EXCLUSIVE: House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Prohibit Senior Federal Employees, Spouses From Trading Stocks

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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A pair of lawmakers in the House will introduce bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would prohibit senior federal employees and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks during their tenure.

The legislation, first obtained by the Daily Caller, will be introduced by Republican Texas Rep. Michael Cloud and Democratic Maine Rep. Jared Golden. The bill is titled The DIVEST Act. The bill would also make it so covered employees would have six months upon entering public service to divest of prohibited holdings or place those holdings in a blind trust.

The bill also states that any violations of this act would require federal employees to disgorge their investment profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Cloud’s office believes the information senior executive employees have could lead to a conflict of interest in industry rules and regulations, or an unfair advantage in stock performance.

A number of social media users have been tracking several members of Congress’s stock trades to try and get ahead of the market, as bipartisan attempts to ban members from trading stocks have started to pick up more traction. Thirty-five members of Congress outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust.

“A great disservice is done to our nation when public servants are able to profit off access to sensitive information while working on behalf of the American people,” Cloud told the Caller before introducing the bill. “We must do all we can to ensure government officials are serving Americans, not their own stock portfolio.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Bob Gibbs Introduces Bill Imposing Sanctions On Officials Who Don’t Report Stock Purchases In 24 Hours)


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

A majority of Americans believe members of Congress should be banned from trading stocks while in office, according to a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll released in January. Five percent of respondents approved of lawmakers trading stocks, and 19% had no opinion. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Dan Crenshaw Responds To Allegations Of Not Disclosing Stock Transactions)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is considering endorsing a ban on members trading individual stocks, the Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed in January.