Congress makes big decisions about many issues: Economics, energy, climate, military weapons, and on and on.
Many of those issues involve BIG BUSINESSES in which Congress members OWN STOCK. Their inside information about what Congress will be deciding will influence whether certain business corporations’ stocks will increase or decrease. THIS IS CORRUPT. This problem has been going on for many decades, and Congress keeps failing to STOP THIS CORRUPTION.
People who want HONEST DEMOCRACY are demanding that Congress PROHIBIT stock trading. I have an article about this from June 30, 2018, regarding Congress members who own stock in companies that own capitalist-owned prisons — and who voted to increase the imprisonment of immigrants without documentation.
This article from a few years ago is about Congress members who own stock in fossil fuel companies — and fail to take strong actions to protect the environment and climate from fossil fuels: https://truthout.org/articles/members-of-congress-own-up-to-93-million-in-fossil-fuel-stocks/
In 2020, when Trump was President, his Attorney General William Barr (who was in charge of the U.S. Dept. of Justice) STOPPED THE INVESTIGATIONS of three senators who were being investigated after they sold off stocks following early briefings on the coronavirus. Federal law PROHIBITS such “insider trading,” but William Barr’s Dept. of Justice did not care. The Trump administration was full to overflowing with corruption. See this article about this case: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/justice-department-drops-insider-trading-probes-three-senators-n1215196?emci=4e0501a0-30a0-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&emdi=0536ee55-63a0-ea11-86e9-00155d03b5dd&ceid=3273229
In 2021, Sludge reported that at least 11 Senators and 36 members of Congress and their spouses own millions of dollars’ worth of stock in companies that make military weapons. Obviously, this is a massive conflict of interest. It’s a BI-PARTISAN scandal, because these 47 members are both Democrats and Republicans.
We must STOP THIS CORRUPTION! Members of Congress should NOT be allowed to own stocks — especially in giant business corporations that sell to the federal government (military weapons manufacturers, etc.) or whose business dealings (on energy, foreign trade, etc.) are affected by decisions that Congress makes.
The e-mail that provided this information in 2021 urged the public to tell Congress to pass the Ban Conflicted Trading Act to finally ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks! In January 2023 when the current Congress ends and a new Congress convenes, legislation will be introduced again — perhaps with different names or bill numbers. Look for opportunities to tell Congress to STOP THIS CORRUPTION.
Also in 2021, Sludge (a publication that covers political corruption) reported that Senators who should be regulating Big Tech companies actually hold millions of dollars worth of stocks in the very same companies they are regulating! See this: Senators, Who Should Be Regulating Big Tech, Hold Millions in Stocks
On Dec. 20, 2021, Public Citizen (www.citizen.org), the democracy watchdog organization founded by Ralph Nader half a century ago, reported that congressional STAFFERS also have the same kinds of conflicts of interest. These staffers know the inside information that the members of Congress know, and many of them are using this inside information to guide their own personal decisions to buy and sell stock. A report by Business Insider reported this: “49 members of Congress have violated a law designed to stop insider trading and prevent conflicts-of-interest” AND ALSO THIS:
“At least 182 high-ranking congressional staffers have violated a federal conflict-of-interest law with overdue disclosure of their personal stock trades.” The research into these corruptions took countless hours manually checking every single financial disclosure and reported stock trade from the start of 2020 to August of 2021 to find this wrongdoing.
VOTERS MUST DEMAND THAT CONGRESS STOP SUCH CORRUPTION!!!
On January 27, 2022, the Project on Governmental Oversight (www.pogo.org) posted information about how seriously the public does NOT trust Congress. “When Gallup asked how much confidence Americans had in Congress last year, 51% responded “very little” or “none,” and only 12% had high levels of confidence in the institution. A poll by Morning Consult placed the percentage of Americans who trust Congress at 37% this month. A poll POGO sponsored last year in the battleground states of Michigan and Ohio found that corruption was the number one concern among voters of both parties. Congress earned some of this distrust by giving its members access to inside information without barring them from trading stocks. A conservative group released a poll this month showing that 76% of voters favor a ban on congressional stock trading. And a separate poll by a progressive group found 67% support a ban. Either way, that’s a lot of support from across the political spectrum. It’s time for Congress to listen to the people.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) is one of the richest members of the House. She has defended congressional stock trading, declaring: “This is a free market, and people, we are a free-market economy.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Democrat) agreed with her.
On May 10, 2022, www.winwithoutwar.org reported this: Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14) bought as much as $15,000 of Lockheed Martin stock on February 22 — two days before Russia invaded Ukraine. She touted the purchase on Twitter a day later, exclaiming “War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable and convenient.” … A bipartisan poll by the Campaign Legal Center found that 67% of all voters favor banning members of Congress from trading stocks. … Add your name here if you believe in banning members of Congress from profiting from their public service and owning stocks.
Many times I have contacted my U.S. Representatives and Senators to urge them to pass legislation to stop this kind of corruption. I have told them:
Voters strongly demand you stop this corruption now!
Voters are angry that Congress is corrupt — and Congress keeps failing to end the corruption!
You absolutely must vigorously support legislation to stop Congress’s trading in stocks.
If you fail to do that, then you are part of the corruption, and voters must replace you!
I’ve seen a very, very little information also about some BAD legislation that purports to solve the problem but actually is too weak and/or has serious loopholes. When you contact Congress, stand strong for the principles we uphold. Support efforts by ethical organizations supporting truly honest democracy, and don’t be misled by entities that are part of the corruption but are whitewashing their real agenda. Pretty much everything I’ve seen about solving this problem is good, accurate information. Only a very little bit was unnerving.
On November 16, 2022, Americans for Tax Fairness (www.americansfortaxfairness.org), a very good non-profit organization, posted this:
According to a New York Times report, between 2019 and 2021, 183 current U.S. senators and representatives (and their family members) traded stock or another financial asset, and more than half of them sat on congressional committees that provided direct insight into those very same companies and stocks.
Another report by our friends at More Perfect Union shows that 4 out of 5 House Democratic leaders and 4 out of 6 Senate Republican leaders own stock, plus 50 percent of committee chairs and ranking members. In fact, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has seen his wealth grow from $3 million to $34 million between 2004 and 2018―an increase of 1,000 percent.
Congressional ownership of individual stocks tempts legal corruption.
Now, we have a chance to ban individual corporate stock trading, but Congress needs to act during the lame-duck session before the end of the year if we have any chance of it becoming law. Nearly all Republicans oppose the measure. Click here to tell Congress that they should not be allowed to own or trade individual stock.