news at end of legislative session house does not consider bill to ban members of congress from trading stocks

House does not consider bill to ban members of Congress from trading stocks

Abigail Spanberger
Abigail Spanberger

U.S. House leadership chose not to bring the TRUST in Congress Act to the floor for consideration on September 30.

The TRUST in Congress Act, led by U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, would ban members of Congress, their spouses and dependent children from buying, selling and trading individual stocks.

In a statement Friday, Spanberger said the job of elected officials is to serve the people, not themselves.

“That’s why I’ve been proud to lead the charge on legislation to ban members of Congress and their immediate families from trading individual stocks — not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because the Virginians I represent overwhelmingly support it and want us to get it done,” Spanberger said in a press release. “Since the early days of the pandemic, I have worked with lawmakers from both parties — and across the ideological spectrum — to earn their support for my bipartisan bill, the TRUST in Congress Act, to require individual stock holdings be divested or placed in a qualified blind trust while in office. Our commonsense proposal demonstrated that many Democrats and Republicans alike take this issue seriously and are listening to the voices of the people.”

According to the press release, Spanberger said that momentum for the bill grew for months in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

“We saw remarkable progress toward rectifying glaring examples of conflicts of interest. And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position. However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics, hand-waving gestures and blatant instances of Lucy pulling the football,” Spanberger said in the press release.

She said that Friday’s decision “marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known. Rather than bring members of Congress together who are passionate about this issue, leadership chose to ignore these voices, push them aside and look for new ways they could string the media and the public along — and evade public criticism. As part of their diversionary tactics, the House Administration Committee was tasked with creating a new piece of legislation — and they ultimately introduced a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival, with only days remaining before the end of the legislative session and no time to fix it.”




Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.