The bill would ban members of Congress from trading in weapons companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, as well as in Amazon, Pfizer and thousands more Department of Defense contractors.

by Donald Shaw, Sludge

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) earlier this month introduced legislation that would ban members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from holding or trading stock in companies that have contracted or otherwise transacted with the Department of Defense.

Under current law, members of Congress and their family members can invest in securities, including in the stocks of companies they oversee, as long as they publicly disclose their holdings annually and report transactions within 45 days. The ability for members of Congress to invest in defense and weapons may pose especially strong conflicts of interest as companies like Lockheed Martin and RTX (Raytheon) rely on government contracts funded by congressional appropriations for a large majority of their revenue.

Congressional candidate Rashida Tlaib speaks in protest against the supreme court's ruling on the muslim ban.

“The American people deserve representatives who vote in the best interest of our country and our families, not their stock portfolios,” said Tlaib in a statement announcing the bill. “It is shameful that some of my colleagues are profiting financially when they vote to support wars and weapons manufacturing.”

The bill, titled the Stop Politicians Profiting from War Act, was filed on February 6 and has been referred to four House committees. It has one co-sponsor–Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.). Several non-governmental organizations have endorsed the bill, including Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Public Citizen, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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