Obama seeks to reform how Congress operates

WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Barack Obama is using his State of the Union address to call for reforms to prevent members of Congress from profiting from their positions.

Obama wants Congress to pass legislation to ban insider trading by lawmakers. He also wants Congress to hold itself to the executive branch’s conflict of interest standards, including prohibiting members from owning securities in companies that have business before their committees.

In addition, Obama wants to prohibit lawmakers from taking any official action on matters that would affect their personal finances.

Obama also wants to ease congressional gridlock. After facing delays in getting several of his nominees confirmed, he is calling on the Senate to pass a rule that requires an up or down vote for judicial and public service nominations after 90 days.