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House Dem. attacks Pelosi after insider trading bill delayed: 'failure of House leadership'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2015
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 2015 | Department of Labor/Wikimedia Commons

September 30, 2022 5:37pm

Updated: October 1, 2022 11:10am

A House Democrat blasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday after she refused to move ahead with a planned vote on a bill that would ban members of Congress, their spouses, and their dependent children from buying, selling, and trading individual stocks.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) said in a statement that her bill, the Trust in Congress Act, was a bipartisan, “commonsense proposal” that addressed concerns from both sides of the aisle about members of Congress profiting from their privileged positions.  

“We saw remarkable progress towards rectifying glaring examples of conflicts of interest. And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position. However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics, hand-waving gestures, and blatant instances of Lucy pulling the football,” Spanberger said.

“This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known.”

Pelosi’s finances have come under scrutiny due to several timely stock purchases by her husband Paul Pelosi Sr., an investment banker. An example is how, just before the CHIPS Act passed earlier this year, Paul Pelosi purchased $1 million in Nvidia, a computer chip company.

However, the legislation released Tuesday faced criticism from those who have publicly expressed support for restrictions on lawmaker’s stock ownership.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill did not go far enough – he wanted harsher penalties for those who broke the rules. He also said members need more time to review legislation that would may change how many of them handle their finances, reports the Wall Street Journal.

GOP support for the bill has been mixed. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) has signaled supporting limits on stock ownership by lawmakers but has not provided many details.

Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican from Illinois and ranking member on the House Administration Committee, criticized the bill for lacking GOP input and “more focused on scoring cheap political points rather than passing sound policy.”

Spanberger said the package released by House leadership was “designed to fail” and promised to be “dogged in [her] efforts to ban Members of Congress from using the privilege of their position for profit.”