WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) introduced the Stop Politicians Profiting from War Act to prohibit Members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from having any financial interests in any company that does business with the Department of Defense and banning them from trading defense stocks.
Currently Members of Congress are allowed to own and trade stocks, even when their committee assignments and access to information as public officials give them insider knowledge. Members of Congress were elected to serve the public, not to serve their stock portfolios. In recent years, public trust in our government has dwindled due to corruption and exploitation from those within. Congresswoman Tlaib is a longtime supporter of advocacy and legislation to prohibit Members of Congress from buying and selling stocks.
According to Capitol Trades, U.S. lawmakers made 96 transactions in defense stocks in 2023, and eight of these purchases took place since October.
“My colleagues continue to funnel billions of American tax dollars to the very same defense contractors that many of them are invested in and taking campaign donations from,” said Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. “The American people deserve representatives who vote in the best interest of our country and our families, not their stock portfolios. It is shameful that some of my colleagues are profiting financially when they vote to support wars and weapons manufacturing. Members of Congress should not be able to use their positions of power to get rich from defense contractors while voting to pass more funding to bomb innocent civilians. The American people deserve better. We are sick of politicians profiting from endless wars.”
“Elected officials owning defense contractor stocks while also controlling annual budget allocations is the opposite of a virtuous circle. It’s an astonishing testament to the deep power of the military-industrial-Congressional complex that owning defense contractor stock while in office hasn’t yet been banned,” said Savannah Wooten, People Over Pentagon Advocate, Public Citizen. “Rep. Tlaib’s legislation is a long overdue and welcome proposal. The bill should be passed immediately.”
Congresswoman Cori Bush supports this legislation as an original cosponsor.
This resolution is endorsed by 350.org, Action Corps, Adalah Justice Project, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), American Federation of Ramallah Palestine, Americans for Justice in Palestine Action (AJP Action), American Friends Service Committee, Common Defense, Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Migrant Roots Media, MPower Change Action Fund, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Peace Action, Public Citizen, RootsAction.org, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, VietLead, Win Without War, and Women Cross DMZ.
A copy of the legislation is available here.