Statement by Trevor Potter on the need for stock trading restrictions in Congress


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center (CLC), and a Republican Former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), released the following statement:

“Yesterday, H.R. 8990, the Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act, was formally introduced in the United States House of Representatives. Public polling confirms that most Americans support banning lawmakers from trading stocks, and it is therefore crucial that the House passes this legislation.

As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of Americans, voters have a right to know whether their representatives are acting in the interest of the public, or in ways that serve their own personal interest. Congress passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act into law ten years ago, but the STOCK Act did not decrease the appearance of corruption that arises when members of Congress engage in suspicious stock trades.

At the top of the public’s mind are legitimate concerns over conflicts of interest that may arise when an elected official has a financial stake in an area over which they have significant influence. The Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act, designed with the shortcomings of the STOCK Act in mind, will work to repair that trust by banning members of Congress from trading stock while in office and prohibiting such activity by their spouses, dependent children, and senior staff. The law establishes significant penalties to promote compliance, an area where the STOCK Act fell woefully short. To comply with the new law, officials may transfer their investments to a blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest.

Although this bill has room for improvement concerning the scope of covered officials and potential loopholes, it answers voters’ calls for reform and I urge every member of the House to vote in favor of the Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act.”