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BIGGER THAN PELOSI: 183 Members of Congress Traded Stocks in the Last Two Years.

And 97 of Those Lawmakers Traded in Stocks That Were Relevant to Their Work.

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It’s been ten years since the 112th Congress enacted the STOCK Act —and if they hadn’t gutted the bill, stories like these may not be so commonplace…

As a quick reminder, the STOCK Act was signed into law in 2012 with substantial bipartisan support following the release of the Government Accountability Institute president Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out. Schweizer’s book uncovered an epidemic of lawmakers, from both parties, leveraging knowledge acquired while in office to make insider stock trades.

The act was passed —then quickly gutted, designating it more as a gesture than a real act of change. Today’s STOCK Act is notoriously difficult to enforce. Members of Congress have rarely faced consequences for its violation. While Section 18 of the Act allows for fines and up to 15 years in prison for trading violations, not a single lawmaker has ever been charged.

So it’s no surprise that The Daily Mail is reporting more than 183 members of Congress —or their family members —have traded stocks in the last 2 years. Even less surprising, 97 of those lawmakers traded stocks that directly intersected with their congressional work.

According to The Daily Mail, “Some of the most flagrant conflict of interest violators include Delaware Sen. Tom Carper, D, who traded in 138 companies and had 39 potential conflicts of interest, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who traded stocks in 326 companies and had 43 conflicts and California Democrat Rep. Rho Khanna, who reported trades in 897 companies and had 149 potential conflicts.”

Sounds pretty swampy, no? That’s because it is. Insider trading is, technically, illegal. But it’s nearly impossible to catch these crooked lawmakers. It’s an honor system —and it doesn’t work.

Many prominent voices, from both sides of the aisle, have been pushing to make it illegal for members of Congress and their families to trade stocks while in office. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) can’t agree on much —but they agree on this.

“It’s time to stop turning a blind eye to Washington profiteering,” Hawley says. “Year after year, politicians somehow manage to outperform the market, buying and selling millions in stocks of companies they’re supposed to be regulating. Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other at the expense of the country.”

“Because we have access to sensitive information and upcoming policy, I do not believe members of Congress should hold/trade individual stock and I choose not to hold any so I can remain impartial about policy marking,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Instagram.

As previously reported by The Drill Down staff, the current version of the STOCK Act is not nearly as successful as the original legislation. There’s a strong case for resurrecting the original bill (Killing the Stock Act in 24 Hours and How to Resurrect It) but, with so many politicians making a killing – including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi – this may not be a priority.

—but it should be.