Sign the petition: End congressional corruption

End corruption: Ban Congressional stock trading

Petition to the Senate:
"Prohibit stock trading by members of Congress. Pass the Ban Conflicted Trading Act introduced by Sens. Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown."

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Dear 5849376,

End corruption: Ban Congressional stock trading

Sen. Bob Corker sat on a Senate committee that oversees infrastructure while trading hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in energy infrastructure companies.1

Sens. Pat Toomey and Sheldon Whitehouse trade health stocks while serving on health subcommittees, while Tom Udall does the same on energy.2

Sen. James Inhofe bought stock in a military contractor just days after pushing for expanded military spending, in an almost blatant display of potential insider trading.3

Members of Congress should not be profiting by trading stocks even as they serve the public trust. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown want to put an end to the corruption and insider trading, and they need our help.4

End corruption: Ban Congressional stock trading. Click here to sign the petition.

In 2015, senators traded somewhere between $104 million and $337 million in stock, according to a report from our friends at Public Citizen. Outright conflicts of interest continue despite a 2012 law, the STOCK Act, that attempted to end insider trading by members of Congress. The law bans only the most outright insider trading – clear examples of buying or selling stock based on inside information – but allows senators and representatives to profit from policy changes.5

Republican Rep. Chris Collins, who faces federal charges of insider trading, is the only person ever prosecuted under the STOCK Act. Yet it was legal for Collins to serve on the board of a pharmaceutical company while in Congress. He only landed in hot water because he used the inside information from his time on the board to buy millions in shares of company stock and wrote a bill to help the company get faster approval from regulators.6

Trump's former secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, resigned in disgrace after using military aircraft for private travel. The warning signs were there already: As a member of Congress, Price made countless trades of health care industry stocks and pushed legislation that would help two companies in which he had invested.7

As Trump normalizes corruption and profits off his White House position, we need reform more urgently than ever. Sens. Merkley and Brown want to ban all stock trades by members of Congress, bar sitting on boards while in office and force members to either divest or hold all investments in truly blind stocks.8 A bold and uncompromising bill like this is the only way to restore public trust and draw a clear contrast with the corruption of the Trump administration, so we need to speak out now.

End corruption: Ban Congressional stock trading. Click below to sign the petition:

Thank you for speaking out,

Josh Nelson, Co-Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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  1. David Dayen, "Sen. Jeff Merkley wants to stop Congress members from insider trading by banning them from owning stocks," The Intercept, Dec. 17, 2018.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Sen. Jeff Merkley, "Merkley, Brown introduce legislation to stop government officials from profiting off of insider information," May 9, 2019.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.

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