EXCLUSIVE: Two lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle are joining forces on a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks while working on the American taxpayers’ dime.
The bill, officially called the Prohibition of Financial Trading on Government Property Act, was introduced Thursday by Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., and Angie Craig, D-Minn., and would prevent certain federal employees, including elected officials, from engaging in financial trading activities while on federal property or using government resources.
‘Federal government employees should be working on behalf of the people, not using time at work to trade stocks. The American people expect members of Congress and our staff to get things done when we are on taxpayer time,’ Mace told Fox News Digital ahead of the bill being introduced.
‘Banning stock trading on government land and in federal office buildings, much like we’ve done with gambling and soliciting campaign donations, will make sure the government is working when we’re on your dime,’ she added.
Craig told Fox that stock trading should be treated no different from gambling or soliciting for campaign donations on federal property.
‘The American people deserve to know that their representatives and their staff are focused on their official duties, and my bipartisan legislation with Rep. Mace will help give our constituents that peace of mind,’ she said.
Gambling on federal government property is currently prohibited, including use of mobile betting apps. Anyone attempting to use those apps faces a geofence on their device and become physically unable to use them until outside the boundary.
Financial trading apps, such as Robinhood, E-Trade and Coinbase, do not have the same restrictions and can be used at will.
Mace’s office pointed out that there are also currently no restrictions preventing government employees or elected officials from communicating with someone who engages in financial markets on their behalf while on government property.
The bill would, however, provide exceptions for those authorized to engage in financial trading activities as part of their official duties, or who have been given prior written approval from their agency head. Other exceptions would be trading on postal service facilities and in national parks.
Other lawmakers have called for stricter rules on financial trading, including the banning of members of Congress from being able to trade stocks all together.