- Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have introduced a bipartisan bill to ban executive and legislative branch officials, along with their families, from owning individual company stocks.
- The bill calls for a prohibition on blind trusts, greater transparency in filing, and steep penalties for infractions, including fines amounting to at least 10% of the value of the prohibited investments.
In an effort to remove potential conflicts of interest in the corridors of power, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, and Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri, have jointly proposed a bill. This proposed legislation aims to disallow members of the executive and legislative branches, along with their families, from owning stocks in individual companies.
Transparency and Accountability: Hallmarks of the New Bill
The newly proposed legislation goes beyond mere trading restrictions. It extends to the officeholders’ spouses and offspring, curbing their ability to trade individual company stocks as well. Notably, the bill also advocates for the prohibition of blind trusts, a mechanism previously permissible for housing certain investment assets belonging to the spouses and dependent children of officeholders.
Further strengthening the accountability measures, the proposal demands enhanced transparency in filing processes and advocates for substantial penalties for contraventions. Included in these penalties are fines amounting to at least 10% of the value of the prohibited investments.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant. It is critical that the American people know that their elected leaders are putting the public first – not looking for ways to line their own pockets,”
Senator Gillibrand commented, underscoring the underlying motive of public interest that fuels the bill.
This proposed legislation builds upon, and notably extends, the scope of a preceding bill which centered on trading of stocks by officeholders. The earlier proposal did not extend its purview to the trading activities of spouses and children of the officeholders.
In expressing his support for the legislation, Senator Hawley stated,
“My bill with Senator Gillibrand is common sense: ban elected and executive branch officials from trading or holding stocks, and put the American public first.”
The sentiment echoes the bill’s core aim of ensuring public interests are at the heart of decision-making processes.