U.S. Senator Ben Sasse reintroduced a sweeping ethics reform package that increases accountability for members of Congress and officials in the Executive Branch.
“People hate politics, and politicians have worked hard to earn that hate. This ethics package is pretty simple: If Congress wants to rebuild some public trust, we ought to put some pretty simple rules on Washington. Members of Congress shouldn’t be trading stocks while they’re in office and they shouldn’t cash out as lobbyists when they leave office. The President and Vice President should have to disclose their tax returns and their families shouldn’t gladhand for foreign cash under the cover of foundations and libraries. And foreigners shouldn’t be able to dump cash into ballot initiatives. This is going to hack off a whole bunch of Republicans and Democrats but, frankly, doing it in one fell swoop is the only way to do it – it’s time to get everyone’s goat.”
After a series of stories revealed controversies in congressional trading there has been bipartisan support to ban lawmakers from personal trading.
In November of 2021, the FEC affirmed that foreign nationals can legally pour money into ballot initiatives in states that don’t otherwise forbid it.
Senator Sasse’s legislation:
- Prohibits members of Congress from buying or selling stocks during their time in office
- Bans members of Congress from making money lobbying
- Prohibits the immediate family of cabinet members and President/Vice President from soliciting donations from foreign sources
- Requires that presidential and vice-presidential candidates’ tax returns are disclosed
- Prohibits foreign nationals from funding state and local ballot initiatives and referenda