Congress members must be banned from unfair and corrupt trading

Adrienne Lawrence
Liberal Opinion

Adrienne Lawrence

Legal commentator
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With so many issues separating Democrats and Republicans, there is at least one where both sides can come to some type of agreement: curbing lawmakers’ ability to play the stock market. With a vast majority of Americans not trusting Congress, and 80% of Americans supporting some ban on the activity, many will be disappointed that a vote on a recent bill in the House was postponed. Straight Arrow News contributor Adrienne Lawrence believes that Congress members trading stocks is unfair, corrupt and should be banned.

With many Americans struggling to make ends meet as prices surpassed wages, it’s disturbing to know that at least 183 members of Congress are playing the stock market and thriving, often raking in money hand over fist.

These leaders who wield unmatched power are uniquely positioned to gain exclusive information that impacts Wall Street, yet they can legally use said position as public servants to get rich. Lawmakers must be banned from trading stocks not only because it’s unfair, but also because it’s corrupt.

A recent New York Times investigation of trades between 2019 and 2021 revealed that some 81 Democrats and 101 Republicans made up to 3700 stock trades raking in at least about $100 million. Of the 183 politicians that The Times looked at, more than 90 sat on committees that directly oversaw the public companies of which they were trading stocks. These members of Congress have a vested interest in the success of the companies they’re supposed to be minding. There’s no objectivity there. Nor can there be when these lawmakers stand to economically benefit from their decisions.

Something must be done to eliminate this ethical conflict and soon, Of the top 20 members of Congress who increase their net worth since taking office, the average increase was 422% a year.

Politics should be about the people, not becoming a legend at the bank, yet the typical member of Congress is 12 times richer than the typical American. The American people deserve better than politicians who use their positions as public servants to fill their coffers. Until we ban stock trading by lawmakers and their spouses, and heavily prosecute those who violate such ban, Congress will continue to be a place for charlatans to get rich rather than to represent the people.

With many Americans struggling to make ends meet as prices surpassed wages, it’s disturbing to know that at least 183 members of Congress are playing the stock market and thriving, often raking in money hand over fist. These leaders who wield unmatched power are uniquely positioned to gain exclusive information that impacts Wall Street get they can legally use said position as public servants to get rich. Lawmakers must be banned from trading stocks not only because it’s unfair, but also because it’s corrupt. A recent New York Times investigation of trades between 2019 and 2021 revealed that some 81 Democrats and 101 Republicans made up to 3700 stock trades raking in at least about $100 million. Of the 183 politicians of the times looked at more than 90 sat on committees that directly oversaw the public companies of which they were trading stocks. These members of Congress have a vested interest in the success of the companies they’re supposed to be minding. There’s no objectivity there. Nor can there be when these lawmakers stand to economically benefit from their decisions. For example, 25% of those on the energy and National Resources Committee, were trading either Exxon or Chevron stock. While What 30% of the environmental committee traded oilfield services, yet we’re supposed to believe that these committee members will hold oil and gas companies accountable, you know curbing with the business for the betterment of our society. I’m not foolish enough to put that level of trust in our leadership, whether Republican or Democrat, the opportunistic greed is bipartisan. Alan Loewenthal, a Democrat from California, for example, who sits on the National Resources Committee had his wife rally a Sunrun stock making a return of 780%. After being briefed that the Commerce Department was launching an investigation into an Ohio based mining company, Pennsylvania, Republican Mike Kelly had his wifey trade on the Cleveland company stock for a 300% gain. Don’t even get me started on Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. This corrupt abuse of power is not a partisan issue. It’s a greed issue. These people not only make a minimum of $174,000 a year, but they enjoy premium health care and a sweet retirement package that may include a cush pension, our lawmakers have passed laws to ensure they’re set. All while we the people struggle to make rent going from crisis to crisis make that make sense? Who really can’t. Under the existing law known as the Stock Act, members of Congress can buy and sell stocks and bonds and other instruments as long as they or their immediate family members aren’t trading on inside information valued at $1,000 or more within 45 days of acquiring the knowledge. That’s when he told law is cute, but it’s not cutting it, which is why both House and Senate have been trying to tighten the rules. Something must be done to eliminate this ethical conflict and soon have the top 20 members of Congress who increase their net worth since taking office. The average increase was 422% a year. Politics should be about the people not becoming a legend at the bank. Yet the typical member of Congress is 12 times richer than the typical American. The American people deserve better than politicians who use their positions as public servants to fill their coffers. Until we ban stock trading by lawmakers and spouses and heavily prosecute those who violate such ban. Congress will continue to be a place for charlatans to get rich rather than to represent the people


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