Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, has been criticized for years for making contentious and strategic stock deals. Now, a number of her Democratic supporters are teaming up with Republicans to submit legislation this week that would make it illegal for U.S. politicians and members of the executive branch to hold stock while serving in their positions.
The measure, which would forbid anyone impacted from owning equities in individual firms, even through a blind trust, is likely to be introduced in the Senate by Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The bill would apply to all members of the executive branch, including the president, vice president, senators, representatives, and staffers on Capitol Hill.
“It is critical that the American people know that their elected leaders are putting the public first,” Gillibrand told the Wall Street Journal in a statement, adding, “not looking for ways to line their own pockets.”
“Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market,” Hawley said.
“The series of bills comes after revelations last year that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, traded between $1 million and $5 million of stocks for semiconductors just days before Congress allocated $52 million to the industry. The stocks were later sold at a loss to remove the appearance of impropriety,” Fox News reported.
Pelosi in particular has drawn criticism for her contentious and clever stock deals on multiple occasions.
Another well-timed stock move by Pelosi garnered attention.
According to a sale Pelosi reported in late December, just three weeks before the Justice Department and eight states disclosed their intention to sue Alphabet, Google’s parent company, for antitrust violations, Pelosi sold over 30,000 shares of Google stock.
The Daily Beast reported how Pelosi and other Democrats “dragged their feet last year and ultimately did nothing” to enact anything on outlawing stock trades for members as Pelosi’s husband amassed a number of dubious well-timed investments that made a lot of money.
A number of Democrats are also in favor of introducing some sort of legislation to deal with this issue.
Many Democrats are on board with the idea and are open to ironing out the details, according to Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.
“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.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida’s Republican Party collaborated on a bill last month to prohibit members of Congress and their families from trading stocks.
“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.
The probe of the Pelosis stock trading will be conducted, according to Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“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.”