Abigail Spanberger, a Democrat from Virginia, joins Congressman Chip Roy, a Republican from Texas, in sponsoring legislation that takes direct aim at former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul Pelosi. By the conclusion of the then-tenure, Speaker’s the two found themselves in the crosshairs of her own party due to “convenient” decisions she made for herself while holding the post of Speaker.
Towards the end of her stint as House speaker, the Pelosis’ stock trades were a major point of concern due to the fact that they were executed promptly and either resulted in profits for the couple or prevented losses, leading to charges that they engaged in insider trading.
Even Democrats reacted angrily, prompting Spanberger and Roy to prohibit members of Congress from trading stocks as part of their official duties.
“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,” according to News Nation.
As part of his stunning remarks, the Democrat lawmaker stated, “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.”
This month, Pelosi attracted everyone’s attention once again with a strategically timed stock transaction. Three weeks before the Justice Department and eight states launched an antitrust action against Google’s parent firm Alphabet, Pelosi sold nearly 30,000 shares of Google stock, according to a declaration she submitted in late December.
The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act, or PELOSI Act, was presented in January by Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican from Missouri. Members of Congress and their families would be prohibited from buying and trading individual equities under the proposed law.
A handful of Democrats in the House already support the plan.
“As members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again. While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hard-working Americans pay the price. The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks,” stated Hawley.
“Members who violate the requirements will also lose the ability to deduct the losses of those investments on their income taxes. The ethics committees of Congress may levy additional fines and will publicize violations,” as per a press release.
“The PELOSI Act will impose the prohibition on lawmakers during their tenure in office but will exempt holdings in diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or U.S. Treasury bonds. It will give members of Congress and their spouses six months, upon assuming office, to divest any prohibited holdings or place those holdings in a blind trust for the remainder of their tenure in office,” according to a report by Benzinga.
MoneyWise provided further information about Pelosi’s questionable actions:
Nancy Pelosi had originally directed the House Administration Committee to draft legislation back in February, but 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.