A new poll has found that a compelling majority of voters are in favor of banning members of Congress from trading stocks, according to a report from Insider.
Sixty-seven percent of voters surveyed support a stock-trading ban, according to polling conducted by the progressive think tank Data for Progress, with that figure increasing to 74% when respondents were given arguments in favor of and against the idea.
When asked whether they would support a bill that would ban members of Congress as well as their senior staff from buying and selling individual stocks, 43% of voters said they strongly supported a ban, while 24% were somewhat supportive.
Poll participants were then given arguments in favor of a ban — such as lawmakers' access to non-public information and the need to instill public trust — as well as against, such as the possibility that a ban could affect retirement accounts and is unnecessary because most lawmakers follow trading rules.
Support for a ban jumped to 74%, while only 19% said they would not be in favor of such a bill.
Conducted Jan. 12-15, the poll surveyed 1,266 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The results are largely consistent with those of a survey the group conducted previously in March, as well as recent polling from the conservative group Convention of States Action and the Campaign Legal Center.
In the last week, several competing proposals to ban stock trading have emerged, including a bill sponsored by Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona that would require lawmakers to place individual stocks into a blind trust.
Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri introduced a similar proposal the same day, whereas the proposal put forth by Democratic Rep. Angie Craig of Minnesota would ban stock holding entirely.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday asked the Committee on House Administration to consider harsher penalties for members and senior staff who violate the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, along with a review of potential violations by members.
''The speaker believes that sunlight is the best disinfectant and has asked the Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren to examine the issue of members' unacceptable noncompliance with the reporting requirements in the STOCK Act,'' spokesman Drew Hammill said.
Pelosi’s request came after Insider's Conflicted Congress project found that dozens of lawmakers and 182 senior congressional staff had violated the law, which requires timely disclosure of stock purchases in order to combat insider trading.
Ranked among the wealthiest members of Congress, Pelosi does not trade stocks herself. But her husband, Paul Pelosi, is a prolific trader and has millions of dollars invested in stocks that the speaker is required to disclose by law.
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