You won’t believe who’s teaming up! The notorious socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the firebrand populist conservative Matt Gaetz have put aside their political differences to co-sponsor a bill. Shocking, right?
The bill, dubbed the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act, aims to prevent lawmakers from owning and trading stocks. This would include their spouses and dependents as well. The bill also contains a provision to ban lawmakers from serving on boards of public companies.
Why do we need this bill, you ask? Well, it’s simple: members of Congress have access to classified regulatory and policy information that regular American investors do not. This means that they can use their insider knowledge to make investments that will benefit themselves, and even make policies that will benefit their investments. It’s a clear conflict of interest.
Even AOC herself recognizes this, stating that “the ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government.” And for once, I actually agree with her. We need to build trust in our institutions, and that starts with reigning in Congress.
Interestingly enough, a similar bill drew support from both sides of the aisle last year, but was never brought to a vote. Why, you ask? Well, because the Democratic leadership, including then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, didn’t want it to pass. Surprise, surprise.
But now that Republicans have control of the House, things are different. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has expressed support for the bill, stating that “I want to do it on a bipartisan basis.” Finally, some common sense from our politicians.
Look, I don’t agree with AOC on much, but if there’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that we need to reign in the out-of-control insider trading.