A bipartisan group of US Senators announced a new law that would fine members of Congress a month’s salary for “insider trading,” a practice where politicians use their privileged information about upcoming laws and events in order to profit off the stock market.

Senators Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Josh Hawley (R-MO), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) agreed to a deal concerning the stock ban, which is the latest iteration of a law first introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) in December.

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The bill would ban lawmakers from buying stocks and engaging in other forms of investments, as well as prohibit them from selling stocks starting 90 days after it is passed. It would force all members of Congress as well as the President and Vice President to divest from their investments starting in 2027. It would also bar their families from trading stock.

If a politician is caught violating this rule, they would be subject to a financial penalty of a monthly salary, or 10 percent of the assets in violation—whichever happens to be greater.

Senator Ossoff has been pursuing similar legislation since 2021, and put his stock portfolio in a blind trust at the time.

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Senator Peters, is scheduled to consider the proposal on July 24th.

Khanna’s bill would also put 12-year term limits on congressmembers, 18-year term limits on Supreme Court Justices, a “binding code of ethics” for the Court, a ban on House and Senate members as well as candidates from accepting funds from political action committees (PACs) and lobbyists, and a lifetime ban on former members of Congress engaging in lobbying.

The basics of his reform bill had been announced in September, it is now officially introduced into the House of Representatives.

Khanna contends that the Supreme Court is also in need of a reform, citing recent investigations have allegedly uncovered many instances of ethics violations, like “deficient financial disclosures,” “receiving extravagant gifts,” and “misusing staff.” He argues that removing lifetime tenures will undo the intense partisan polarization and add a degree of accountability. Another proposed requirement in his resolution would see a new Justice added and another step down every two years. As the Court has nine Justices, that would mean each hitting the new 18-year term limit before getting replaced with a fresh Justice.

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics and business for VT and a regular guest on The Unusual Suspects. Follow Shane’s work here.

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