Republican Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) has slammed members of Congress for profiting from their positions, declaring that they “should not be actively trading” stocks.
Donalds, who sits on the select committee on economic disparity and fairness in growth, is joining growing bipartisan calls for regulations.
The Florida congressman argues that, while members of Congress should not be banned from trading stocks, they should have to defer to third parties who sign off on trades.
“I do not think that members or their spouses should be actively trading,” the congressmen told The Daily Wire during an interview Thursday afternoon.
“I think that if their investments are held by managers, and the managers are authorized to trade on their behalf, that’s acceptable.”
“If a member or spouse executes a trade on their own, either by doing it directly or calling their broker to do the trade, then they have to obviously disclose that immediately.”
The comments from Donald come on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) husband Paul recently purchasing 2,500 shares of Tesla stock, quickly making huge profits.
The shares were worth roughly $2 million at the time of purchase and spiked nearly 19% shortly after.
In February, Pelosi reversed her position on trading ban legislation and said she would support such legislation is introduced.
“We have to do something to deter something that we see as a problem, but it is a confidence issue, and if that’s what the members want to do, then that’s what we’ll do,” Pelosi said.
Potentially curtailing the ability of members of Congress to trade stocks is an issue that has garnered bipartisan support.
In January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other GOP leaders met privately to discuss regulations.
Donalds, who worked as a financial advisor before entering politics, thinks that fully restricting congressmen from trading stocks is not the right course of action.
He noted that there are members with less money who should be able to engage in the free market.
But he holds firm that he and his fellow lawmakers should be unable to directly engage in the market given the exclusive information they may gain access to about companies.
“I should not be at a trading platform. I have access to too much information that the American people simply do not have,” he said.
“I should not be trading shares. I should not be advising on trading shares.”
While some Democrats and Republicans push for regulations, a new website called Capitol Trades launched in August 2021 to track what politicians and their families are trading.
In the past three years, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Phil Roe (R-TN), and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) are listed as the top five members and former members executing the most trades in Congress.