There might not be many issues on which Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) agree, but one new bill reveals some rare common ground.
In light of recent scandals involving suspiciously timed stock trades by members of Congress and their spouses, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing to prohibit legislators from trading individual stocks.
Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans. We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize… pic.twitter.com/KGcyYfWi3D
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 2, 2023
Along with Gaetz and Ocasio-Cortez, the bill is also endorsed by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).
While the proposal seeks to ban trades by members of Congress as well as their spouses and dependents, it would allow investments in diverse funds and Treasury bonds. The bill would not prohibit lawmakers from contributing to retirement plans offered by the U.S. government.
Ocasio-Cortez touched on the primary concern among those opposed to allowing legislators to trade individual stocks, explaining: “When members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple.”
Furthermore, Gaetz asserted that some of his colleagues seem to be more interested in turning a profit on Wall Street than doing the work of the American people.
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans,” the Florida Republican said. “We cannot allow the swamp to prioritize investing stocks over investing in our country.”
During an interview with Fox News Channel personality Jesse Watters, Gaetz acknowledged that this political issue has produced strange bedfellows on Capitol Hill and even offered some faint praise for his far-left colleague.
“AOC is wrong a lot,” he said of the New York Democrat. “She would probably say the same thing about me. But she’s not corrupt.”
He went on to affirm that he would “work with anyone and everyone to ensure that Congress is not so compromised.”
For his part, Fitzpatrick noted that this area of agreement “reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum … should send a powerful message to America.”
If the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act becomes law, legislators who own individual stocks would have 90 days to sell them and the House ethics department would be required to grant permission for contributions to blind trusts.