AOC and Matt Gaetz Team Up to Propose a Bill and Make the Ultimate Odd Couple

A proposed bill, endorsed by lawmakers from both Democratic and Republican parties, such as the conservative Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), aims to prohibit members of Congress from engaging in individual stock trading.

Over the past few years, some notable lawmakers have faced accusations of leveraging their privileged insights into upcoming regulations or economic instability to make advantageous stock purchases and minimize losses by selling shares. In an effort to combat this issue, a legislative measure known as the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act has been introduced. This bill seeks to forbid lawmakers, their spouses, and their dependents from buying individual stocks or derivatives.

“The fact that members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), who is also sponsoring the bill, said in a statement. “We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information.”

Under this proposed act, lawmakers would still be allowed to hold assets in a qualified blind trust or the federal pension system, as well as widely-held investment funds and government securities.

The Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act is one of several legislative proposals seeking to prohibit individual stock trading by lawmakers and their relatives. Earlier this year, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act, also known as the PELOSI Act. Similarly, two months ago, Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), and Ken Buck (R-CO) proposed a similar bill.

“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans. We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country,” Gaetz said.

“When members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

In the wake of the collapse of three medium-sized financial institutions, Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic Bank, several politicians made stock trades involving bank shares in the past few weeks. As account holders withdrew their funds in panic, these banks failed. According to a periodic transaction report, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) acquired up to $15,000 worth of New York Community Bancorp stock, the company that acquired Signature Bank, shortly after meeting with officials to discuss the bank's failure. Another periodic transaction report revealed that the wife of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) purchased up to $15,000 of Silicon Valley Bank stock and sold up to $15,000 of both Bank of America and First Republic Bank stock.

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