Members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate as well as Supreme Court justices who currently trade cryptocurrencies may have to stop HODLing while in office if a bill gets enough votes.
According to a framework released Thursday, House Administration Committee Chair Zoe Lofgren — responsible for the day-to-day operations of the House — said she had a “meaningful and effective plan to address financial conflicts of interest.” ” in the USA. Congress by restricting the financial activities of SCOTUS legislators and judges, as well as those of their spouses and children. The bill, if passed under the framework, would suggest a change in policy after the 2012 passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, allowing members of Congress to buy, sell and to trade stocks and other investments during their tenure. , but also by requiring them to disclose these transactions.
“Congress can act to restore public faith and confidence in its officials and ensure that those officials act in the public interest, not their private financial interest, by restricting senior government officials – including including members of Congress and the Supreme Court – and their spouses and dependent children trading in stocks or owning investments in securities, commodities, futures, cryptocurrencies and other similar investments and short selling of stocks,” Lofgren said.
“I will soon introduce the legislative text of a bill built on this framework for reform. Many MPs have already concluded that reforms are needed.”
The framework suggested that SCOTUS lawmakers and judges could still hold and disclose a portfolio with diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, treasury bills and other investments that “did not present the same potential for conflicts of interest”. disclosure amounts are more specific rather than the “extremely broad” range currently used – for example, $5 million to $25 million – and are publicly available.
Under the STOCK Act, lawmakers are required to report the purchase, sale, or exchange of any investment over $1,000 within 30-45 days, but the law provides for minimal financial and legal consequences. for not reporting on time – sometimes as little as $200 late fee. The proposed framework suggested imposing fines of $1,000 for every 30 days an individual violated disclosure rules, increasing late fees to $500, and allowing the Department of Justice to sue. civil actions if necessary. The House Press Gallery Twitter account reported Thursday that the House could consider the bill as early as next week.
Senators Jon Ossoff and Mark Kelly proposed similar reforms for the STOCK Act in the Senate in January, but there has been no movement on the bill for over 8 months. According to Lofgren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tasked the committee with reviewing potential financial conflicts of interest in Congress. However, the speaker has previously pushed back on efforts to ban lawmakers from owning or trading stocks, saying “they should be able to participate in that.”
Related: Powers On…Why Are US Officials Ignoring Ethics and the STOCK Act When Trading Stocks?
A number of House members and senators have revealed their exposure to crypto investments, including Illinois Rep. Marie Newman, Florida Rep. Michael Waltz, Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis, Texas Rep. Michael McCaul , Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Toomey, Alabama Rep. Barry Moore, and New Jersey Rep. Jefferson Van Drew. In December 2021, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it was inappropriate for her to hold Bitcoin (BTC) or other digital assets because US lawmakers have access to “sensitive and to future politics.