Nancy Pelosi Caves, Will Acquiesce to Bipartisan Pressure on Stock Trading Ban: Report
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California supports passing a ban on trading in individual stocks by members of Congress, according to a new report.
The report from Axios, citing Punchbowl News, aligns Pelosi philosophically with lawmakers who want to ban this practice — an issue that already has bipartisan support in the Senate.
According to the New York Post, Pelosi said on Dec. 15 that members of Congress should be able to trade in individual stocks.
“We’re a free-market economy,” Pelosi said. “[Members of Congress] should be able to participate in that.”
She added that lawmakers need to disclose stock market purchases and actions when they take them.
“If people aren’t reporting [stock trades], they should be,” she added, according to the Post.
Last month, she softened that stance.
“I just don’t buy into it, but if members want to do that, I’m OK with that,” Pelosi said last month, according to NPR.
She said disclosure laws provide the needed level of transparency.
“I have great confidence in the integrity of my members,” Pelosi said.
But Pelosi has become a lightning rod for this issue due to stock trading done by her husband, Paul.
According to disclosures, Paul Pelosi purchased between $1.75 and $3.6 million worth of call options between Dec. 17 and Dec. 22 for companies including Google, Salesforce, Roblox and Disney.
The largest purchases were between $500,000 and $1 million for Google and between $600,000 and $1.25 million for Salesforce.
Further, dozens of members of Congress have been cited as violating the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 by not disclosing their financial trades. There were 55 members who failed to properly report their trades, Insider reported.
The STOCK Act was passed to limit potential conflicts of interest and to encourage congressional members to be transparent about their personal finances.
Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona, along with Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, have reintroduced the legislation to ban congressional stock trading, Newsweek reported.
“Year after year, politicians somehow manage to outperform the market, buying and selling millions in stocks of companies they’re supposed to be regulating,” Hawley said in a statement.
“Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other at the expense of the country.”
Axios, citing Punchbowl News, said the STOCK Act and other ethics laws will face a revision. But despite agreement on the broad outlines of legislation, the details remain to be filled in.
Differing versions of the legislation to be considered exist.
Some would ban spouses from trading in individual stocks, which would directly impact Pelosi. Other versions allow lawmakers to hold stocks in trusts composed of multiple stocks, while other versions would require lawmakers and spouses to put all of their investments in a blind trust.
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