Insider: Nancy Pelosi’s congressional stock trading ban has a massive blind trust loophole and is too broad, ethics experts warn
Insider: Nancy Pelosi's congressional stock trading ban has a massive blind trust loophole and is too broad, ethics experts warn
House Democratic leaders have released the text of a bill that would ban members of Congress, senior congressional staff, Supreme Court justices, and members of the executive branch from owning or trading individual stocks.
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives now hope to vote on the legislation before the week’s end, when Congress adjourns until after the November midterm elections, though their are now fresh doubts as to whether that will happen.
Ethics experts are already warning that the bill, called the “Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act,” has a major flaw when it comes to blind trusts. …
Not all ethics experts, however, are criticizing the bill.
Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, generally praised the legislation as strong, if imperfect, particularly in its proposed increases in penalties for violating the law.
“It would go a long way to give more than just a slap on the wrist to people who don’t comply with the STOCK Act, which should really help compliance overall,” Scherb said.
He also said he’s glad the bill strengthens rules for all branches of the government, not just Congress, and that he’s not concerned that it includes Supreme Court justices — a provision that some government reformers say will “poison” the bill among Senate Republicans who might otherwise be inclined to support it.
“The House shouldn’t project what might or might not happen in the Senate,” he said.