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Biden defers to Congress on potential stock trade ban for lawmakers

President Biden will let Congress decide whether lawmakers should be banned from making personal stock transactions during their time in office, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Tuesday. When asked about Biden’s stance on the hot-button issue, Psaki said the president “believes that everyone should be held to the highest standard,” but would defer to Congress on potential legislation. “He’ll let the leadership in Congress and members of Congress determine what the rules should be,” Psaki said. Psaki added that Biden “didn’t trade individual stocks” during his time in the US Senate. As president, Biden is barred from trading stocks. The White House addressed the situation as a growing number of lawmakers call for the implementation of restrictions — or an outright ban — on stock trades for members of Congress. The Post previously reported that Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced a bill that would ban congressional lawmakers, their spouses and dependent children from trading stocks while holding office. Lawmakers would be required to place their assets in a blind trust. Ossoff’s initiative was seen as a rebuke of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has argued lawmakers should be free to own and trade individual stocks as part of a “free-market economy.” As The Post reported, Pelosi and her husband have earned more than $30 million through bets on prominent tech firms, even as the Biden administration and top Democrats move to regulate the industry. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has introduced a similar proposal to ban stock trades. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) also indicated he would be open to a ban. “If you’re the speaker of the House, you control what comes to the floor, what goes through committee, you have all the power to do everything you want — you can’t be trading millions of dollars,” McCarthy told The Post last week.

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