Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
- House Democrats pushing for a stock trade ban in Congress got burned by Pelosi last year.
- In a letter exclusively shared with Insider, they’re now pushing McCarthy to pick up where she left off.
- The GOP House Speaker has spoken favorably of a ban in the last year, but hasn’t gotten specific.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing new calls to pass legislation to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.
In a letter sent to McCarthy on Thursday and obtained by Insider, a group of eight House Democrats called on McCarthy to bring a bill to the floor “as soon as possible,” requesting his response by February 10.
The group — composed of Democratic lawmakers who led stock trade ban bills during the previous Congress — also outlined their criteria for a bill that they would support, such as including spouses and dependent children in the ban, ensuring that blind trusts are “truly blind,” and omitting “gimmicks, carveouts, or exemptions.”
It comes after that same group of Democrats got burned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in September; Democratic leadership hastily scheduled a vote on legislation that contained a significant loophole and was written without the group’s input, only to call off the effort at the last minute.
McCarthy has previously expressed support for banning lawmakers from trading stocks, and the letter points specifically to comments he made in July in which he said Republicans would “come back with a proposal to change the current behavior.”
The speaker recently reiterated that sentiment on a podcast appearance with Donald Trump Jr.
“I think there is a problem, you got to built trust in this institution,” said McCarthy. “I’m really looking at this — I want to do it on a bipartisan basis.”
“As you now set the House floor agenda for the 118th Congress as Speaker of the House, we respectfully request you act on your promise,” reads the letter, which was led by Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois.
Other signatories of the letter included Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Andy Kim of New Jersey, Katie Porter of California, Joe Neguse of Colorado, Jared Golden of Maine, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
Since the new Congress kicked off, lawmakers have been re-introducing bills to ban stock trading by members of Congress, arguing that members of Congress should not be allowed to profit off of information they receive as public servants or their ability to influence legislation.
Over the last year, Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” project has identified dozens of members of Congress who have violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act — whose enforcement is woefully lacking — by failing to disclose their stock trades on time.