Here Are 27 Congress Members Urging Nancy Pelosi, McCarthy to Ban Stock Trading in House

Nearly 30 lawmakers urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday to bring legislation to the floor that would ban members of Congress from owning or trading stocks.

In a letter led by Representative Jared Golden, a Maine Democrat, 27 congressional members called for the leaders to either bring the Ban Conflicted Trading Act or the TRUST in Congress Act for a vote.

"This common-sense, bipartisan legislation is unfortunately necessary in light of recent misconduct, and is supported by Americans across the political spectrum," the letter reads. "Both of you have recently addressed this issue in public comments, but this glaring problem will not go away until it is fixed and Congress should not delay when we have the power to fix it."

The letter points to senators who "made significant stock sales" after receiving briefings about the emergence of COVID-19 before the pandemic was understood by the public.

The lawmakers argued the senators being cleared from any wrongdoing shows "how shamefully narrow the current law is."

"There is no reason that members of Congress need to be allowed to trade stocks when we should be focused on doing our jobs and serving our constituents," the letter said. "Perhaps this means some of our colleagues will miss out on lucrative investment opportunities. We don't care. We came to Congress to serve our country, not turn a quick buck."

Lawmakers from all political ideologies backed the letter, ranging from progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, to conservative Florida Representative Matt Gaetz.

Pelosi in December said she opposed any legislation banning stock trading before changing her tune last week, signaling she would be open to bringing the legislation for a vote. McCarthy, on the other hand, told Punchbowl News earlier this month that he would consider backing limits or a ban on lawmakers owning and trading stocks.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that President Joe Biden is leaving the debate over the issue to Congress.

"[Biden] also believes that everyone should be held to the highest standard, but he'll let the leadership in Congress and members of Congress determine what the rules should be," Psaki said.

Lawmakers push for banning stock trading
Representative Jared Golden led 27 lawmakers in urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Leader Kevin McCarthy to ban members of Congress from trading stocks. Golden is seen above giving a speech in Washington, D.C. in November 2021. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Headstrong

Polls have found that a wide majority of Americans support banning members of Congress trading stock. A Data for Progress poll released last week found that 74 percent of likely voters support a ban, while only 19 percent oppose it.

The following Democrats also signed the letter: Arizona Representatives Tom O'Halleran and Greg Staton, California Representative Katie Porter, Colorado Representative Joe Neguse, Illinois Representatives Bill Foster and Jesus Garcia, Michigan Representatives Andy Levin and Haley Stevens, Minnesota Representatives Angie Craig and Dean Phillips, New Jersey Representatives Andy Kim and Tom Malinowski, New Mexico Representative Melanie Stansbury, New York Representatives Kathleen Rice and Ritchie Torres, Ohio Representative Tim Ryan, Pennsylvania Representatives Matt Cartwright, Conor Lamb, Mary Gay Scanlon and Susan Wild, Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger, Washington Representative Pramila Japayal and Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan.

Republican Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania also signed.

Newsweek reached out to Pelosi and McCarthy's office for comment Monday morning.