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House Postpones Stock-Trading Vote – The Recent York Times


But as an alternative of embracing Ms. Spanberger’s measure, Ms. Pelosi dispatched an in depth ally, Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the Administration Committee, to attract up a special bill. The speaker’s one requirement, she said, was that it cover the judicial branch in addition to Congress.

That bill, released late Tuesday, would eliminate most financial asset trading for lawmakers, their spouses, dependent children, senior staff aides and federal judges, including Supreme Court justices. It might allow them to carry investments through financial holding structures often known as blind trusts — during which the owner doesn’t understand how the assets are managed — and certain other varieties of investments, similar to broad-based mutual funds, state or municipal bonds and a few family businesses.

Lawmakers would have six months to do away with their individual stock holdings. The bill would also increase the fees that members must pay in the event that they fail to comply and empower the Justice Department to bring civil actions against violators.

Some ethics experts praised the measure as a vital step toward replenishing trust in Congress.

“Although this bill has room for improvement in regards to the scope of covered officials and potential loopholes, it answers voters’ calls for reform,” Trevor Potter, the president of the Campaign Legal Center, said in a statement on Thursday.

But others derided the bill as ineffective, citing a provision that might allow Congress and other government bodies to vote to permit their members to carry some other kind of investment trust they deemed permissible. Skeptics also argued for stronger disclosure requirements

Blowback was also coming from contained in the House. Fifteen Republicans sent a letter to Ms. Lofgren on Sept. 16 complaining that they’d not been meaningfully included in negotiations on the bill and arguing that it was intended to attain “low-cost political points somewhat than passing sound policy.”

At the identical time, some Democrats also said that they’d been ignored of Ms. Lofgren’s legislative process entirely. Many lawmakers barely had a probability to review the bill before Mr. Hoyer announced it was being shelved.

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