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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) joined fellow Democrats for a briefing(04/07/22) on their push to ban stock trading by members of Congress. Others on the briefing were Senator Jeff Merkley(D-OR), Rep Joe Neguse(D-CO), Rep Rashida Tlaib(D-MI), Rep Abigail Spanberger(D-VA), Rep Pramila Jayapal(D-WA), Rep Andy Kim(D-NJ) and Rep Angie Craig(D-MN).
Rep Ocasio-Cortez said banning stock trading by members of Congress will not only address legitimate concerns about conflicts of interest, but that it would also tackle the other urgent problem involving crisis of faith in our institutions. She said: “We are also tackling a crisis of faith in our institutions in the United States, and that exploitation of that crisis of faith is a direct threat to our democracy, as we have seen over the last two to four years. It is our responsibility to ensure that we eliminate that perception of impropriety, because it is these perceptions that can be exploited to undermine our most sacred institutions.”
The final speaker, the epitome of “save the best for last”, was Minnesota’s Rep Angie Craig(remember that name folks, vivacious Angie is going up the Dem ladder). She said: “My background experience in this issue is I actually sat on a corporate executive team for 12 years before I came to Congress, and this is not hypothetical to me, it’s not hypothetical. I helped run the investor relations department of a major fortune 500 company. I know that information moves markets, and it moves stocks. That’s why when I first got here, I wrote something called the Humble Act, which as part of it, would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks. And it’s also not hypothetical to me because before I was sworn in to Congress, I had stock from the company I had worked for for 12 years. I had stock options from that company as well. Every single one of those shares were sold in the open market before I stepped foot into the U.S. Capitol, every single one. And if we can’t find 535 people in the damn United States of America, who are willing to give up their personal stock portfolio in order to serve their constituents, then shame on us, just shame on us.”
Bottom line folks, as some of the speakers here pointed out, banning stock trading by members of Congress should be a no-brainer, and no Democrat should be opposed to it. Opposing a stock trading ban for members of Congress is bad optics, bad morally, bad politics, and a sure loser at the polls this Fall. It’s really that simple.
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