12:32 GMT +314 December 2018
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    New Bill Seeks to Stop US Lawmakers From Abusing Nonpublic Information

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A newly introduced legislation in Congress aims to prohibit legislators and their staff from abusing their public positions for personal financial gain, US Senators Jeff Merkley and Sherrod Brown said in a joint press release on Thursday.

    "Members of Congress serve the American people, not their stock portfolios," Brown said in the release. "Elected officials have access to nonpublic information that can affect individual companies and entire industries. There must be more accountability and transparency to prevent members from using this information and abusing their positions for personal gain."

    Merkley and Brown explained that the "Ban Conflicted Trading Act," which was introduced earlier on Thursday, comes in response to multiple financial scandals in recent years.

    READ MORE: Ex-FBI Agent Gets Four Years in Prison for Disclosing Sensitive Information

    In the past, US lawmakers have been found buying and selling stocks in certain industries while at the same time crafting legislation that affects those industries, the release stated.

    The bill would not only prohibit members of Congress and senior congressional staff from buying or selling individual stock and other investments while in office, but would also prohibit lawmakers from serving on corporate boards during their term in office.

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