Hawley, Peters, Merkley, Ossoff Announce First-Ever Bipartisan Agreement to Advance Bill Barring Congress Members from Stock Trading

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

At a bipartisan press conference today, U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), alongside Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), made the case for banning stock trading for sitting members of Congress and unveiled new legislation to make it a reality. The bipartisan legislation will be considered at the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee business meeting on July 24. This is the first time a Senate committee will move forward to consider legislation banning members of Congress from stock trading.

“Why should members of Congress be spending their time day trading rather than focusing on the priorities the American people sent us here to achieve and focus on?” Senator Hawley asked.

“Congress should not be here to make a buck. Congress should be here to serve the people,” he continued. “There is no reason why members of Congress ought to be profiting off of the information that only they get and the rest of the American people don’t get.”

The new bipartisan agreement would: 

  • Immediately ban members of Congress, the President, and Vice President from buying and selling covered assets. Covered assets include securities, commodities, futures, options, trusts, and other comparable holdings.
  • Require elected officials, their spouses, and dependent children to divest covered assets beginning in 2027.
  • Increase penalties for violations of STOCK Act disclosure requirements from $200 to $500. 

Senator Hawley has been fighting to stop members of Congress from trading stocks. He has previously introduced the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act, the Eliminating Executive Branch Insider Trading Actand the Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act.