OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former House Democrat and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard blistered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi amid public concerns regarding Paul Pelosi’s stock trading.
“What we’re seeing here is the same thing that I saw when I was in Congress — is this blatant corruption being exposed in broad daylight — the system is rigged. We have people in positions of power to pass legislation, to enact new policies. They can see, ‘OK, here are the industries or companies that will benefit from this. I’m going to go and make these investments, buy this stock or that stock, or have my husband or wife do it and then make money in the process,’” Gabbard said on the popular Fox News program “Jesse Watters Primetime.”
“I think it’s important also to look at this, especially in the environment that we’re in right now. What is even more dangerous than what we’re seeing here is that we have members of Congress who are investing in companies or industries that will benefit from a new Cold War or conflict, for example. And these are the very same people who are making the policies, who have a vested interest in stoking those tensions and amping up this new Cold War, directly benefiting from it, and simultaneously undermining our actual national security for our country and the interests of the American people,” Gabbard added.
Pelosi has denied allegations of insider trading.
However, Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy slammed Democrats last month for claiming they support a bill aimed at preventing lawmakers from insider trading.
In a letter sent to Pelosi, the Texas Republican slammed Democrats for not moving with any urgency to at least hold a vote on the STOCK Act.
Roy noted that he worked with Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger on the bill that would prevent lawmakers and members of their families from trading individual stocks.
“As you are aware, the House floor schedule this week contains the ‘Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to the STOCK Act.’ I am glad to see the House finally taking up the idea of reforming policies related to Member stock trading. However, as one of the original sponsors of reform language — notably introducing HR336, the TRUST in Congress Act, some 2 years ago with my Democrat colleague from Virginia, Abigail Spanberger — I was interested to see the ‘final’ language via Jake Sherman’s Twitter account last night,” Roy wrote.
GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, who will likely become the next Speaker, 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 said. “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.”
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, had initially been directed the House Administration Committee to draft legislation back in February. Still, the release of that draft this fall came at a bit of an awkward time. Just weeks before, she’d faced harsh criticism when her husband, Paul, a venture capitalist, exercised his call options and purchased shares in Nvidia, a manufacturer of graphics cards.
It was right before the Senate was expected to vote on a bipartisan bill that would see domestic chipmakers get a $52 billion subsidy, and the move received significant blowback. That bill ultimately passed in July and, amid the scrutiny, Paul Pelosi sold his holdings in the semiconductor manufacturer at a six-figure loss.
Top figures have argued that they don’t believe the bill will do much to limit insider trading, especially if the bill has a built-in loophole around the “blind trust requirement.”