- A poll by a conservative group found that the vast majority of Americans oppose congressional stock trading.
- 76% of Americans believe members of Congress have an “unfair advantage” when it comes to stocks.
- Pelosi recently defended this practice, claiming that “we are a market economy”.
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe members of Congress should not be allowed to trade stocks during their tenure, according to a new poll first released by The Hill.
According to the poll, conducted by the conservative group Convention of States Action, 76% of voters believe lawmakers and their spouses should not be allowed to trade stocks while in Congress, and that they have an “unfair advantage. “on the stock market. .
Only 5% of voters approved the practice, while 19% gave no opinion.
The poll also found that congressional stock trading disapproval is overwhelmingly bipartisan; 70% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans and nearly 80% of Independents said members of Congress should not be able to trade stocks.
“In an age of hyper-partisanship, voters from all parties agree that members of Congress should not enrich themselves by using ‘inside information’ while serving the people,” said group chairman Mark Meckler, in a statement. “This problem has received a lot of attention, and this data confirms that the American people want this practice to end once and for all.”
The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group, included 1,076 respondents and was conducted from December 17-21 and had a margin of error of around 3%.
Other polls have also revealed high levels of disapproval for congressional stock trading. The Campaign Legal Center commissioned a poll in November, finding that 67% of those polled supported banning members of Congress from owning shares in specific companies. And a March 2021 Data for Progress poll found that 67% of voters were at least somewhat in favor of banning members of Congress and their senior officials in Congress from buying and selling individual stocks.
The results of those polls put voters at odds with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who recently rejected a ban on stock trading for members of Congress when asked by Insider about the idea.
“We are a market economy. They should be able to participate in it,” Pelosi said.
Insider recently released the Conflicted Congress series, a five-month investigation that found 52 members of Congress and 182 senior Congressional officials in violation of a federal insider trading prevention law called the STOCK Act that requires disclosure in timely sales and purchases of shares. Insider has also produced a proprietary personal finance database for each lawmaker.
And other members of Congress – including the late progressive representative of the late Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – pushed Pelosi back.
“There is no reason why members of Congress should own and trade individual stocks when we are writing major policy and have access to sensitive information,” she said.