INSTITUTE INDEX: The push to ban insider trading by federal lawmakers

From left to right, Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) and Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) are among the lawmakers who have introduced bills targeting the trading of individual stocks by members of Congress. (Official congressional photos.)

According to a recent Business Insider investigation, number of members of Congress who were late in disclosing their stock trades during 2020 and 2021 — a violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge or STOCK Act, a law Congress passed in 2012 to address insider trading and conflicts of interest: 57

Number of the most highly paid congressional staffers who also missed STOCK Act filing deadlines, making it harder to scrutinize their actions: at least 182

Fee that first-time late filers are supposed to pay: $200

Number of public records that exist indicating whether noncompliant officials paid any fines: 0

Since the STOCK Act's passage, number of Congress members who have been prosecuted for insider trading based on congressional information: 0

Of the 535 members of Congress, number who own individual stocks, which they are not currently barred from trading: 284

According to a poll commissioned by the conservative advocacy group Convention of States Action, percent of U.S. voters who think members of Congress should not be able to trade stock at all while in office: over 75

Percent of Democrats, Republicans, and independents, respectively, who agree: 69, 78, 80

Value of stock sold by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, a retiring North Carolina Republican, in 33 transactions in early February 2020, shortly before the COVID-19 market crash, when as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee he was receiving daily briefings about threats from the virus: $628,000 to $1.7 million

Number of weeks after Burr sold the stocks, which included hotel chain holdings, that the market began a sharp decline: 1

Date on which the U.S. Justice Department announced it would not pursue charges against Burr, though a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation continues: 1/19/2021

Number of stock trades made by Sen. David Perdue during the Georgia Republican's six years in office, leading one observer to note his "remarkable record of success" in industries regulated by committees on which he sat: more than 2,500

Date on which it was announced that the Senate Select Committee on Ethics cleared former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a Georgia Republican, of wrongdoing in connection with the sale of millions of dollars worth of stocks in the two months before the COVID-related market crash, including some directly affected by the pandemic: 6/17/2020

Of the 677 complaints the Senate Ethics Committee received from 2007 through 2017, number it dismissed without investigation: 589

Of the 88 cases the committee investigated in that time, number in which it imposed disciplinary sanctions: 0

Number of disciplinary sanctions it handed down from 2017 through 2020: 0

Date on which Sen. Jon Ossoff, the Georgia Democrat who defeated Perdue in last year's runoff election, introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act (S. 3494) along with fellow freshman Democrat Mark Kelly of Arizona to bar members of Congress and their immediate families from trading individual stocks: 1/12/2022

Date on which Sens. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, introduced the Bipartisan Ban on Congressional Stock Ownership Act (S. 3631), which would bar members and their spouses not only from trading but also from owning individual stocks in large corporations: 2/10/2022

Year in which Reps. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat, and Chip Roy, a Texas Republican, reintroduced the Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust in Congress Act (H.R. 336) requiring members of Congress as well as their spouses and dependent children to put investments into a qualified blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest: 2021

Number of other introduced bills to limit trading by members of Congress that Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, and Liz Hempowicz of the Project on Government Oversight said "fall short" — one because of a cumbersome enforcement mechanism and the other because it fails to ban trading by members' spouses and lets lawmakers keep stocks they owned before taking office: 2

After a long silence on the matter, date on which the Senate's Democratic leadership held a call on which they told members' legislative directors that they intend to bring a congressional stock-trading ban bill to the floor: 2/4/2022

Date on which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat who previously opposed stock trading bans for members, said she would agree to one if it also applied to members of the judicial branch: 2/9/2022

(Click on figure to go to source.)