Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to introduce legislation during this congressional session that would bar members of Congress and other top government officials from buying and selling individual stocks, she told Insider.
“It is a no-brainer,” said Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat. “Every senator, member of Congress, president, Cabinet secretary, federal judge, and other senior officials in charge of writing the rules for our financial system should not be able to own or trade individual stocks.”
The legislation would be based on the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, which Warren introduced in 2018 and reintroduced in 2020, both times without Senate cosponsors. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat, sponsored companion legislation in the House last year.
Both Warren bills died in the then-Republican-controlled Senate Finance Committee.
What’s different now is that Democrats control the Senate, and Warren, who sits on the Finance Committee, has greater leverage to push the bill forward.
Numerous members of Congress have come under scrutiny for their stock trades in recent months. They include Sens. Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican; Rep. Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat; and former Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, both Republicans of Georgia.
Rep. Chris Collins, a New York Republican, went to federal prison last year after pleading guilty to insider-trading charges. But Collins served time for only a few weeks before President Donald Trump pardoned him in December.
Top government officials, Warren said, “are there to serve the people, not their personal financial interests.”
She continued: “Congress should pass anti-corruption legislation and restore American’s faith in government by making it work for everyone — not just the rich and powerful.”
Warren did not offer a specific timetable for when she planned to introduce her stock-trading legislation this congressional session, which concludes in January 2023.