House Minority Leader Republican Kevin McCarthy is reportedly considering making a major change to Congress that lawmakers like Nancy Pelosi – would surely hate.
McCarthy is toying with the idea of an “outright ban” on lawmakers being able to hold or trade stocks should the Republican party win back the majority in midterms this year.
“McCarthy told us his planning on this front is in its early stages, and he hasn’t yet decided on what kind of limitations there may be on stock trades or holdings,” Punchbowl News reported.
“One idea would be to force lawmakers to hold only professionally managed mutual funds. Another proposal the GOP leadership is considering would bar lawmakers from holding stocks in companies or industries their committees oversee.”
“Other members have advocated for mandatory blind trusts for lawmakers’ holdings,” the report added. “There’s been renewed debate in recent months over putting curbs on lawmakers trading and holding individual stocks. The logic is simple – members and senators often get sensitive information about U.S. policy before it becomes public. Under the STOCK Act, lawmakers and aides are prohibited from trading on such information.”
McCarthy’s remarks come as a report from Business Insider last month revealed that numerous lawmakers had violated the STOCK Act which offers minimal penalties for lawmakers found in violation.
The report found that 52 members of Congress and 182 senior-level congressional staffers had violated a federal conflicts-of-interest law. Nearly 75 federal lawmakers who held stocks in COVID-19 vaccine makers Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer in 2020, with many of them buying or selling these stocks in the early weeks of the pandemic.
Nancy Pelosi has been known to be one of the worst violators of the STOCK Act, with portfolio gains surpassing that of powerhouse investors like Warren Buffett.
McCarthy’s new plan comes after an awkward exchange between Pelosi and a reporter earlier this month where the House Speaker appeared to defend lawmakers insider trading:
REPORTER: Madam Speaker, Insider just completed a five‑month investigation finding that 49 Members of Congress and 182 senior Congressional staffers have violated the STOCK Act, the insider trading law. I’m wondering if you have any reaction to that. And secondly, should Members of Congress and their spouses be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in Congress?
PELOSI: No, I don’t – no, to the second one. Any – we have a responsibility to report in the stock – on the stock. But I don’t – I’m not familiar with that five month review, but if the people aren’t reporting, they should be.
REPORTER: Why shouldn’t they be banned?
PELOSI: Because this is a free market and people – we are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.
Just a couple of days after making the remarks, starting on December 17th and going through the 21st, Pelosi and her husband bought millions of dollars worth of call options for stocks including Google, Salesforce, Roblox, and Disney according to the New York Post.
Author: Alex Raz