Elizabeth Warren Wants To Ban Lawmakers From Trading Individual Stocks

Elizabeth Warren Wants To Ban Lawmakers From Trading Individual Stocks

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants to end what is effectively legalized insider trading by members of Congress by barring them from trading individual stocks ever again.

Warren first attempted to push through similar legislation with the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act she introduced in 2018 and then again in 2020. Both bills unsurprisingly died in the Senate Finance Committee, which Warren sits on.

The renewed push comes as several members of Congress have come under recent scrutiny for profitable stock trades in recent months, according to Business Insider. The include Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and former Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

And who can forget California Democratic Congresswoman Judy Chu, the former East LA Community College teacher who entered congress with a $100,000 – $250,000 net worth – and somehow day traded herself to an estimated net worth of $7 million dollars.

The $4 million increase in Judy Chu (D-CA) net worth in 2017 shows just how far that $174K salary can go pic.twitter.com/9SB8pyshpa

— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 28, 2020

According to Warren, government officials exist “to serve the people, not their personal financial interests,” adding “Congress should pass anti-corruption legislation and restore American’s faith in government by making it work for everyone — not just the rich and powerful.

Warren didn’t offer a specific time table for when she plans to introduce the legislation, while lawmakers continue to trade stocks like hotcakes.

More via Business Insider:

Burr goes bear

Burr, who endured a months-long federal investigation into his personal stock trades, last week reported making several recent stock sales along with his wife, Brooke Burr.

The Burrs sold up to $165,000 worth of stock in Enterprise Products Partners, a natural-gas and crude-oil pipeline company, between April 28 and April 30. The company’s stock price has remained effectively level since then.

Brooke Burr also reported selling up to $100,000 in MetLife Inc. floating-rate noncumulative preferred stock and up to $100,000 in US Bancorp depository preferred shares.

Burr, who wasn’t charged, made a flurry of stock sales on February 13, 2020, six days after cowriting an opinion article on FoxNews.com that sought to ease public concern over the threat COVID-19 posed to the US.

“Thankfully, the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus, in large part due to the work of the Senate Health Committee, Congress, and the Trump Administration,” Burr wrote along with then-Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.

But on February 27 of last year, Burr — then chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee — told a more dire story to a small, private luncheon gathering at Washington’s tony Capitol Hill Club.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” Burr said, according to a secret recording obtained by NPR’s Tim Mak. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

The Justice Department’s investigation of Burr’s February 2020 stock trades, together valued at more than $1.7 million, centered on whether the senator made his trades based on insider information obtained during senators-only briefings about the COVID-19 threat.

Burr says he is not planning to run for reelection in 2022.

Jim Inhofe moves to amend

An aviation enthusiast who announced his 2020 reelection bid by piloting a propeller plane upside down, Sen. Jim Inhofe, a Republican of Oklahoma, has regularly made news over the years for close-call incidents while flying.

More recently, Inhofe sought to remedy another aircraft situation — this time on paper.

In a May 17 letter to the US Senate Secretary Julie Adams, Inhofe acknowledged understating the value of the assets — most notably, airplanes — held by The Padre Company LLC, a limited-liability company that the senator controls.

As of 2019, Inhofe’s LLC held three aircraft together valued at up to $1 million: a 1979 Grumman Tiger, a 1999 RV-8, and a 1979 Cessna 340. It also included real estate.

Inhofe wrote that his letter provided a “total reconciliation of the life of my assets” within The Padre Company LLC, which formed in 1999.

In short, Inhofe had not been previously factoring in the value of the real-estate property as part of his public disclosure of the LLC. Now he is, which is why the reported value of the LLC has increased.

“Ahead of filing his annual disclosures each year, Senator Inhofe discusses it with the Ethics Committee to maximize transparency and ensure he is adhering to the spirit of the law, not just the letter of it,” the spokesperson Leacy Burke told Insider. “Previously, it had been understood that these were considered personal properties and exempt, unreportable assets. This year, in the interest of greater transparency, he was encouraged to file the amendment and include them, as you can see he did.”

Read the rest of the report here.

Tyler Durden
Tue, 05/25/2021 – 17:05

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