Press Releases

Reps. Reed, Rice Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prohibit Members of Congress from Serving on Corporate Boards

The resolution matches and strengthens existing Senate Rule implemented nearly 30 years ago

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Washington, August 21, 2018 | Michael Aciman ((202) 225-5516) | comments

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Tom Reed (NY-23) and Kathleen Rice (NY-04) today introduced a resolution to prohibit Members of the House from serving on the boards of publicly-held companies.

The resolution creates a similar, yet stronger version of Senate Rule 37.6(a), which states no Senator “shall serve as an officer or member of the board of any publicly-held or publicly regulated corporation, financial institution, or business entity.” Currently, the Senate rule prohibits members from serving on corporate boards but includes certain exceptions for members who were serving on a board for at least two years prior to their election.

The proposed House resolution would eliminate this exception and require newly-elected members who serve on corporate boards to resign from their position.

“I care deeply about improving the public’s trust in Congress,” Representative Tom Reed said. “This is a common-sense proposal to further strengthen our ethics rules. By preventing Members of Congress from keeping one foot in the boardroom and the other on the House floor we hope to limit potential conflicts of interests and the appearance of impropriety.”

“There is no reason why Members of Congress should ever be allowed to serve on the boards of publicly-traded companies,” said Representative Kathleen Rice. “If we want to maintain the public’s trust in Congress, then we need to change our rules and close gaping ethics loopholes like this one. Our constituents should never have a doubt in their mind that their Representative could be corrupted, incriminated or conflicted because of their financial interests or their position in a private company. The Senate addressed this loophole nearly 30 years ago and a House measure is long overdue. This is a common-sense, bipartisan resolution and I urge my colleagues in the House to support it.”

The full text of the bill is available here.



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