"It's way past time to end conflicted trading, in which legislators and top staff trade in stocks while making decisions affecting their value," Merkley said in a statement about the measure, which is called the Ban Conflicted Trading Act.
Since Republicans will hold a six-seat majority in the Senate come January, it's unlikely that the bill would get a floor vote, let alone pass through the chamber. However, the measure will likely give Democrats some political ammunition leading into the 2020 election, when Republicans will be defending more Senate seats than Democrats. Brown, meanwhile, has said he is considering running for president.
The Merkley-Brown measure follows a similar proposal from fellow Senate Democrat, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Unveiled in August, Warren's bill would ban members of Congress and White House staff from owning individual stocks. Like Brown, Warren is considering a run for president.
Under the measure unveiled Thursday, current members could sell their holdings within six months after the bill's passing, and new members could sell holdings within six months of being elected.
"Elected officials have access to nonpublic information that can affect individual companies and entire industries," said Brown in a statement. "There must be more accountability and transparency to prevent members from using this information and abusing their positions for personal gain."
Earlier this year, Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., was indicted on insider trading charges in August after he allegedly told his son about a failed drug trial at Australian company Innate Immunotherapeutics before it was announced. His son and son's fiancee then sold their shares in the company, avoiding roughly $768,000 in losses, according to prosecutors.
Despite the charges, Collins won his bid for re-election in November.
Price, meanwhile, left his Trump administration post in September 2017 in the midst of a scandal over his use of charter flights funded by taxpayer dollars. He had also bought shares of Innate while he was in Congress.