Bipartisan Duo Proposes Prohibiting House Members From Serving on Public Company Boards

Resolution to amend House rules comes in wake of Chris Collins insider trading

Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., pictured, and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., are proposing a change in House rules to prohibit members from serving on boards of publicly-traded companies. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A bipartisan New York duo is proposing a change in House rules that would prohibit members from serving on serving on the boards of publicly held companies, the latest fallout from the indictment of Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., for insider trading. 

Collins served on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotechnology company, and allegedly shared inside knowledge about Innate’s drug trial results with his son, who then made timely stock trades. 

GOP Rep. Tom Reed and Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice, who, like Collins, are both from New York, announced on Thursday their plans to introduce a resolution to create a House version of Senate Rule 37.6(a), which states that 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.”

Reed and Rice did not mention Collins in their announcement, but it was clear their proposal stemmed from his predicament. 

“We must change the rules to prevent members from serving on corporate boards in order to improve the public’s trust in Congress,” they said in a joint statement. “There should never be a doubt in the public’s mind to lead them to think their Representative could be corrupted or incriminated because of their stake or position in a private company. We owe the American people this fair assurance.”

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