U.S. House Democrats release framework for bill to restrict members trading stocks

A view shows the U.S. Capitol dome from the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 14, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept 22 (Reuters) - U.S. House Democrats on Thursday released a framework for legislation that would restrict lawmakers and other senior government officials, including the Supreme Court, from trading in stocks.

The bill would also restrict lawmakers' spouses and dependent children from trading stock and holding certain other investments, as well as require public officials to divest from such holdings or place them in a blind trust, according to the framework.

It would also toughen disclosure requirements and beef up penalties for officials who fail to complete those requirements in time, the framework said.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

The legislation comes after U.S. media scrutiny of potential financial conflicts of interest in trading by officials and their families.

"These stories undermine the American people's faith and trust in the integrity of public officials and our federal government. Members of the public may ask, are our public officials acting in the public interest or their private financial interest?" Zoe Lofgren, the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, said in text accompanying the framework.

Lofgren said she would release legislative text "soon."

The House may consider the legislation next week, according to a schedule announced by the House Majority Leader on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear what the bill's chances of passage were in the Senate.

The White House has said President Joe Biden would leave it to Congress to decide the rules on members trading stocks.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
Reporting by Makini Brice; editing by Richard Pullin

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.