‘Ridiculous’ to Ban Lawmakers From Trading Stocks

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  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville dismissed proposals to ban stock trading for lawmakers as “ridiculous.”
  • “They might as well start sending robots up here,” the Alabama Republican told The Independent.
  • Several Republicans and Democrats have introduced bills to ban lawmakers from trading stocks. 

Sen. Tommy Tuberville on Wednesday rejected proposals to ban members of Congress from trading stocks, calling the idea “ridiculous.”

“They might as well start sending robots up here,” the Alabama Republican told The Independent’s Eric Michael Garcia. “You can’t do anything.”

“I think it would really cut back on the amount of people that would want to come up here and serve, I really do,” Tuberville added. “We don’t need that.”

Tuberville’s comments come as several of his colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, have introduced a slew of proposals to ban lawmakers from trading stocks, representing a bipartisan push to uproot potential conflicts of interest and violations of stock trading rules in Congress.

Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” investigation identified 55 lawmakers who failed to properly report their financial trades last year as mandated by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, also known as the STOCK Act. The rule is designed to combat insider trading by requiring timely disclosure of stock transactions.

Tuberville was one of the worst violators of the STOCK Act in 2021, disclosing 132 stock trades weeks or months late with transactions totaling at least $894,000.

A spokesperson for Tuberville did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. 

Some recent proposals put forth by members of Congress also aim to apply a stock-trading ban on lawmakers’ spouses, children, and their congressional staffers. Other bills don’t go as far as an outright ban, and instead propose a requirement for incoming members of Congress to put their stocks in a blind trust.

Unlike Tuberville, many Republicans have expressed support for a stock-trading ban. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ben Sasse of Nebraska have each introduced bills to ban lawmakers from stock trading.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday signaled that he’d be open to considering a ban, telling reporters, “We’ll take a look at that kind of legislation and see what may be appropriate.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after previously dismissing the idea, is now working with House Democratic leaders to ban lawmakers from stock trading.

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