United States Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) recently disclosed $250,000 in futures trading in wheat, corn, soy and cattle.
On Aug. 14, Tuberville — who sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry — reported multiple agricultural trades through June and July, all in the range of $1,000 to $15,000.
The former college football coach’s trades caught the attention of Unusual Whales, a data hub dedicated to market transparency and exposing trades that may represent conflicts of interest among U.S. politicians.
“He literally influences agricultural futures via legislation and is trading it actively,” Unusual Whales wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, before pointing out Tuberville has “previously, scored some big gains on futures in wheat, corn and soy.”
Tuberville, who also serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, also made three separate purchases of stock in Humacyte (HUMA) — a small biotech company that recently shared the success of their new medical tech in helping treat Ukrainian soldiers’ combat wounds — in amounts between $3,000 and $45,000. When he purchased the stock in July, the price per share was $2.87. On August 15, the stock reached its highest price since May of $4.48, Newsweek recently reported.
The U.S. public have had enough
This isn’t the first time Tuberville has been a target over his trades. In 2021, he violated federal transparency laws when he failed to properly disclose trades worth upwards of $3.56 million, according to a Business Insider analysis.
“It is not only him. Members of Congress have inside knowledge of transpiring trends in the stock market,” one X user wrote in response to the Unusual Whales post.
Several high profile politicians — including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) — have been accused of using their connections, influence and insider information to score winning deals.
Those alleged conflicts of interest have riled up the U.S. public, where there’s growing support for a total ban on stock trading among members of Congress, according to a recent survey by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation.
“Any politician who uses their position of power to influence for personal and/or financial gain should immediately be removed from office and prosecuted,” one X user replied to Unusual Whales. “These positions are elected and/or paid for by the people. Federal politicians have too much power as is.”
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Attempts to ban congressional stock trading
Some lawmakers are trying to tackle this problem. A new bipartisan law was proposed in late July that would ban members of Congress and the federal executive branch — including the president — from owning or trading stocks, even in blind trusts.
However, two other bills on this matter — the TRUST in Congress Act and the PELOSI Act — have failed to move the needle this year, and it’s unclear if or when the new proposal will be debated and voted on.
It is worth noting that Tuberville was quoted in 2022 calling the initial efforts to ban stock trading for Congress members “ridiculous”.
“I think it would really cut back on the amount of people that would want to come up here and serve, I really do,” Tuberville said in an interview at the time. “We don’t need that.”
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