In early 2020 — as millions of Americans faced a terrifyingly novel virus, joblessness, uncertainty, and the tragic loss of loved ones — then-Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) was busy making millions of dollars on some highly suspect stock transactions.
Now, Congress is finally starting to hold hearings and consider bills aimed at reining in insider trading among its own members.
Loeffler had access to confidential financial information, both by way of her husband Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, and her position in the Senate, which afforded her access to private briefings from top public health officials weeks in advance of the pandemic’s initial spike.
Loeffler and her husband sold off millions of dollars worth of stock in the weeks before the pandemic stock market collapse, and purchased stocks in remote work software companies at a time when most Americans did not yet realize the effect the pandemic would have on their work.
Though the Senate Ethics Committee investigation of Loeffler failed to find conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, that speaks more to the committee’s lack of aggression than facts on the ground.
The American public knows lawmakers must be held to a higher standard — that’s why Congress must ban insider trading among its own members.
Politicians should not be allowed to use their status as elected officials to gain an unfair advantage and enrich themselves.
Existing ethics laws do not do enough to prevent senators and representatives from using the information they receive in the course of their legislative duties for personal profit.