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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) delivers remarks on US President Joe Biden’s first year in office on Capitol Hill in Washington on January 20, 2022.

Kevin Lamarque | Reuters

House Republican leaders have privately discussed ways they can campaign during the midterm elections on the issue of limiting lawmakers’ stock trading, an attempt to tap into one of the hot-button issues in Washington.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and other top House Republican members discussed the issue with donors last weekend in Miami, according to people briefed on the matter.

McCarthy and other leaders told donors they would try to pass legislation that would limit lawmakers’ ability to trade stocks, the people said. If, as expected, they win back the House in this fall’s midterm elections, Republicans would bring such legislation to the full House at the start of the new Congress, a person familiar with the matter said.

In a separate round of meetings that began Monday in Miami, GOP leaders were intended to discuss the campaign on the issue and possible legislation, people familiar with the matter said.

Pushing for more regulation of stock trading from lawmakers has become a bipartisan issue in Congress, with critics pointing out that senators and representatives often have access to information that can influence the market before the public. .

Democratic Senators Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona inserted the “Congressional Stock Trading Prohibition Act,” which would prohibit members of Congress from buying and selling stocks while in office. If passed, it would require members of Congress and their families to place their stock portfolios in a blind trust. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced a similar proposal invoice. Representatives Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and Chip Roy, R-Texas, are also working together on potential limits.

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Lawmakers from both parties came under scrutiny for transactions during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. Senator Richard Burr, RN.C., was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but authorities did not charge him. Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Georgia, and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, who heads the New York Stock Exchange, liquidated their individual positions in stocks and related options after weeks of criticism of the pair for selling millions of dollars worth of shares. amid the coronavirus pandemic.

McCarthy recently said punch news that he is considering moving forward with new limits or an outright ban on lawmakers trading assets if the GOP regains a majority this year. McCarthy will almost certainly become Speaker of the House if Republicans win the House in the midterm elections.

A person familiar with McCarthy’s thinking said he is considering new limits on stock trading, but did not provide further details.

Recent polls by the conservative advocacy group States Action Convention found that almost 75% of those surveyed believe that legislators and their spouses have an unfair advantage in the stock market.

The donor retreat was intended for some of the top funders of the Republican National Congressional Committee, which is the campaign arm of House Republicans. Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minnesota, is the chairman of the NRCC. All House members from both parties are up for re-election in 2022. Democrats narrowly control the House.

The NRCC has already campaigned against Democratic lawmakers over its stock trading after reports alleged it failed to properly disclose asset transactions and violated the STOCK Act. That law requires members of Congress and other federal officials to disclose transactions in stocks, bonds and other securities within 45 days.

Business Insider recently reported that more than 50 members of Congress have failed to properly disclose their stock transactions.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after first defending lawmakers’ stock ownership and dismissing limits on trading, later said it would be opened to support such legislation if members of his Democratic caucus were in favor of it.

Paul Pelosi, the speaker’s husband, bought up to $3.5 million in call options on mega-cap stocks late last year, according to a financial disclosure report.

Representatives for McCarthy and the NRCC did not respond to requests for comment.

Correction: The headline of this story has been updated to indicate that Republican leaders discussed limits on stock trading, not stock ownership.


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