Representative Zach Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Congressional Stock Trading Ban Legislation

Representative Zach Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Congressional Stock Trading Ban Legislation

Bill would prohibit Members of Congress from trading stocks while in office to prevent abuse of insider information.

Des Moines, Iowa — Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03), along with Representative Greg Stanton (AZ-4), today announced a new bipartisan bill to ban congressional stock trading for Members of Congress. The Prohibit Insider Trading Act would prevent Members of Congress and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks.  Members found in violation would be subject to a civil fine of up to $50,000.  Additionally, any profit related to the trades would be returned to the American people via the U.S. Treasury.

“I’ve prioritized service over self my entire life – first in the Air Force, then as a state legislator, and now as a member of Congress. The top priority of civil servants should be serving the American people, not making personal profit,” said Rep. Nunn. “I believe Iowans should have open, transparent, and honest representation without conflicts of interest getting in the way. This isn’t a partisan issue—this is a way to stop corruption in politics that has unfortunately become all too common.”

While serving in the state legislature, Rep. Nunn vowed not to trade stocks that would have a conflict of interest at the state level. Now, in Congress, Rep. Nunn is continuing to refrain from trading individual stocks and believes all Members of Congress should do the same.

Recent analysis has found approximately 20 percent of Members of Congress are buying and selling stocks where there may be a conflict of interest.  During the 117th Congress, 78 Members of Congress violated the current law, known as the STOCK Act, that requires public disclosure of trades within 45 days. Recent polls suggest roughly 75 percent of Americans support banning Members of Congress from trading individual stocks.

“Americans need to know their elected leaders in Washington are making decisions based on what’s best for our country, not their own stock portfolios,” Rep. Greg Stanton said. “Our common-sense, bipartisan legislation will put an end to corrupt insider trading and bring some transparency and integrity back to Congress.”

The full text of the bill can be read here.


Specifically, the Prohibit Insider Trading Act: 

  • Prohibits Members of Congress and their spouses from transacting in individual stocks, futures, options, commodities, and warrants while serving in office. Diversified mutual funds, diversified ETFs, Treasury bills, and any investment in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is exempt.
  • Mandates each Member submit to the supervising Ethics Committee a written certification of compliance within seven days after the beginning of any session of Congress.
  • Ensures Members or their spouses forfeit any investment profits to the U.S. Treasury if they are found in violation of the law.
  • Additionally, Members who violate the requirements lose the ability to deduct losses of those investments on their income taxes.
  • Empowers the Ethics Committees to levy supplementary civil penalties up to $50,000 and make public any violations.
  • Requires the supervising ethics office to conduct an audit of compliance by every Member of Congress every two years.