OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Virginia Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a longtime ally to California Democrat Nancy Pelosi, stunned many recently when she joined Texas GOP Rep. Chip Roy to push legislation to ban members of Congress from trading stocks while in office.
“At the heart of the issue: Senators and representatives regularly get classified briefings about subjects that impact the markets and they’re able to use that information, which the rest of the public doesn’t have, to buy, sell, trade, and profit. Spanberger and Republican Rep. Chip Roy, of Texas, a co-sponsor of the bill, both said it’s fundamentally unfair and should be criminalized,” News Nation reported. “The legislation would require members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children to put certain investment assets into a qualified blind trust while the member is in office.”
In an explosive statement, the Democrat lawmaker said: “We are long overdue for a vote on legislation to ban Members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks. Last Congress, we saw the TRUST in Congress Act receives the most bipartisan support of any effort to do so. We saw tremendous momentum, we saw growing support in our districts, and we saw growing recognition across the political spectrum that such reform needs to be made now. I’ve been proud to lead the charge on this issue, and I want to thank my colleague Congressman Roy for his continued partnership as we reduce potential conflicts of interest in the halls of the U.S. Capitol. Our TRUST in Congress Act would demonstrate that lawmakers are focused on serving the interests of the American people — not their own stock portfolios.”
Pelosi, in particular, has come under fire numerous times for her controversial and well-timed stock trades.
Pelosi turned heads with another conveniently timed stock sale. A sale that Pelosi disclosed in late December shows Pelosi sold around 30,000 shares of Google stock roughly three weeks before the Justice Department and eight states announced an anti-trust lawsuit against Alphabet, which is Google’s parent company.
As Pelosi’s husband racked up many suspicious well-timed trades that made a lot of money, the Daily Beast noted how Pelosi and other Democrats “dragged their feet last year and ultimately did nothing” to pass anything on banning stock trades for lawmakers.
Several Democrats are also on board with a bill of some kind to address this problem.
Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick said many Democrats are on board with the idea and have been open to working out the fine details.
“We’re not getting any sharp pushback,” said Fitzpatrick, who co-chairs the centrist Problem Solvers Caucus. “It’s more like the devil’s-in-the-details kind of thing.”
Last month, New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined forces with Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz and others on a bill to block members of Congress and their families from stock trading.
“The bill, the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act, would prohibit financial investments by members of Congress, their spouses, and any of their dependents. It continues a string of legislation that has been introduced over the past few years to target the issue,” The Hill reported.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy previously said there will be an investigation into the Pelosis stock trading.
“I would look through it,” he said of the Democrat proposal to ban stock trading for spouses of Congress members. “What I’ve told everybody is we will come back, and we will not only investigate this, we will come back with a proposal to change the current behavior.”
“Her husband can trade all the way through, but now it becomes a crisis?” he said. “I think what her husband did was wrong.”
“I think we need to bring trust back to this institution,” he added. “I think we have to do a thorough investigation and look at what is the proper role for members of Congress and what influence they have, and I don’t think the proper way to do this is Nancy Pelosi writing the bill because we have proven that she can not do that.”