Matt Gaetz, AOC team up to stop Congressional stock trading
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) joined an unlikely alliance to forbid their colleagues to trade stocks.
Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y., known as “AOC”) have actually teamed up to co-sponsor a bill. This bill would forbid Representatives and Senators, and their spouses and dependents, to own individual stocks and similar securities.
Matt Gaetz, AOC, and a common quarrel
Matt Gaetz, together with AOC and two members of the Bipartisan Problem Solvers’ Caucus (Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.) introduced the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act yesterday.
Just the News carried the story, but Matt Gaetz also shared his concern on Fox News Channel and other outlets.
Rep. Fitzpatrick actually introduced the bill, which would add a new chapter to Title Five of the United States Code. It would forbid Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependents, to own any:
- Security (meaning an individual stock, common or preferred, or a private bond),
- Security future,
- Commodity, or
- “Any economic interest comparable to an interest described [above] that is acquired through synthetic means.” That means derivatives, options, and warrants.
The bill carves out these exceptions:
- “Widely held investment funds” (usually mutual funds),
- Treasury bills, notes, and bonds,
- State or local government bonds, or
- Thrift Savings Plan eligible instruments.
Any “covered individual” must sell any “covered investments,” or place them in a qualified blind trust, within 90 days. Historically, Presidents have used qualified blind trusts to handle their investments for decades. This bill would force Members of Congress to do the same. And if they received any such interests after the law goes into effect, they have 90 days to dispose of it.
The penalty for failure to comply can be as high as $50,000.
Matt Gaetz let people know in no uncertain terms what concerns him:
Congressional stock trading has all the fairness of a Lia Thomas swimming competition.
I will work with anyone and everyone to ensure Congress is not so compromised. Members of Congress should no longer be allowed to trade and own stocks.
Separately Matt Gaetz said this, as Just the News quoted:
As long as concerns about insider trading hang over the legislative process, Congress will never regain the trust of the American people. Our responsibility in Congress is to serve the people, not hedge bets on the stock market.
AOC and Rep. Krishnamoorthi said much the same. Rep. Fitzpatrick, for his part, said this:
The fact that Members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her husband Paul have been at the center of many “insider trading” allegations. Arguably, these became the scandal that in turn became one more reason Republicans managed to “flip” the House last Midterms. AOC seems to have found Rep. Pelosi’s concern with her stock portfolio a continual source of frustration and resentment.
Matt Gaetz appeared together with AOC and Reps. Fitzpatrick and Krishnamoorthi on Jesse Watters’ program last night.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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