Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he supports efforts to ban members of Congress from trading individual stocks, according to a new report.
When specifically asked about his position on the matter, Schumer said: “I believe in it. I have asked our members to get together to try to come up with one bill. I would like to see it done,” Business Insider reported Tuesday.
The New York Democrat’s comments came after Business Insider reported Friday that he had asked six Democratic senators to draw up a bill banning stock trades by members of Congress.
In January, Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly of Arizona and Jon Ossoff of Georgia introduced legislation that would ban members of Congress, their spouses and dependent children from trading individual stocks while in office, and would require putting their holdings into blind trusts.
Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reversed her position and said she was now open to banning such stock trades. “If members want to do that, I’m OK with that,” she told reporters on Capitol Hill.
While critics have decried potential conflicts of interest if lawmakers use inside knowledge to profit from stock trades, Pelosi had argued in December that “We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said earlier this year that he would consider passing a stock-trading ban next year if Republicans win back the House in the fall’s midterm election.
In 2021, members of Congress traded about $355 million in stocks, according to a Capitol Trades analysis of disclosures and MarketWatch reporting, buying about $180 million worth of stock last year and selling about $175 million.