Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat, is joining Texas Republican Representative Chip Roy in pushing legislation that takes direct aim against former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi. The two found themselves in the crosshairs of the then-Speaker’s own party at the end of her tenure regarding some “convenient” moves she made for herself that she had the advantage of from her top position.
During the latter part of her tenure as speaker of the House, the Pelosis’ stock trades became a major issue of contention due to the fact that they were made in a timely manner and either made money for the couple or avoided losses, leading to allegations that they had committed insider trading.
This caused angry responses even from Democrats, leading to Spanberger and Roy to ban any member of Congress from trading stocks as part of their duties 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.”
As part of his 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.”
In yet another conveniently timed stock sale, Pelosi drew the attention of everyone last month. According to a disclosure Pelosi made in late December, she sold around 30,000 shares of Google stock approximately three weeks before the Justice Department and eight states announced an antitrust lawsuit against Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act, or PELOSI Act for short, was introduced in January by Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley. The legislation would prohibit members of Congress and their spouses from owning or trading individual stocks.
There are already a number of House Democrats who support the bill.
“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,” Hawley said.
“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 added more details to Pelosi’s shady 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.