Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff plans to introduce a bill that would target loopholes utilized by members of Congress for trading or holding individual stocks while in office.
The bill is very much in its infancy, and Ossoff is currently trying to drum up support from both parties.
This feels like a refreshing step in the right direction but underlines a dangerous problem that has been floating just at the surface of our democracy. At the expense of their constituents, Congressmembers have been using their position to enrich themselves while in office.
During their time in office, members of Congress wield an incredibly dangerous imbalance of power.
They can produce or sponsor pieces of legislation carrying the full weight of law behind them that can benefit their investments or those connected to them. They are privy to information and policy recommendations that would put them at an unfair advantage in the stock market.
This information and power are not afforded to the average stockbroker, much less the average American.
It is unlikely that Ossoff’s bill will receive enough support to get it passed through both chambers of Congress. It is very possible it will be shot down by the upper leadership of the very same party he is a part of.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among the members of Congress who have acquired wealth from these loopholes with a net worth of around $46 million and growing. She has previously voiced her opposition to any efforts to close the loopholes.
This is a problem across both sides of the political spectrum, and it becomes increasingly apparent that the politicians most against this piece of legislation are the ones benefitting from it.
Zachary Nett, senior computer engineering major, said this is a concerning development, and there needs to be a change in the system.
“Congress is elected to uphold the needs and wants of those who elected them. The legislation they pass is supposed to reflect that,” Nett said. “The priority should be to represent people, not make money.”
To forestall any protests to the rest of this article, I am not calling to cut the salary of Congress completely. Even though members of Congress make nearly three times the average American’s salary, they fulfill an important role in our political system, and it is a tough job.
Rather, I agree with Ossoff’s legislative efforts to mitigate the problem. Members of Congress should not use their positions to pass laws that benefit …….