Bill to prevent lawmakers and their wives from trading stocks stalled as Pelosi faces backlash
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A bill to prevent members of Congress and their spouses from trading or holding stock while in elected office, which was introduced in February, has stalled amid a denial from the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, that her husband bought stock based on inside information she provided him.
The measure, called the Bipartisan Congressional Stock Ownership Ban Act of 2022, was introduced in the House by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., and, to date, has 14 co-sponsors, including the majority are Democrats.
The legislation, according to its wording, would prohibit members of Congress and their spouses “from trading in and owning stock.” In addition, it states that elected members and their spouses shall not “hold an interest in or trade (except as a divestiture) in stocks, bonds, commodities, futures, or any other form of security, including including an interest in a hedge fund, derivative, option or other complex investment vehicle.
Since its introduction, the bipartisan measure has been referred to multiple committees, with the latest action taking place on February 24, when it was referred by the House Agriculture Committee to its subcommittee on commodity exchanges. , energy and credit.
PELOSI SAYS HUSBAND NEVER MADE ANY STOCK PURCHASES BASED ON INFORMATION SHE GAVE HIM
A related measure was also introduced by several prominent members of the Senate, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. ; Raphael Warnock, D-Ga. ; and Lindsey Graham, RS.C.
In response to a question from Fox News Digital on Thursday, Pelosi said her husband, Paul Pelosi, has never made any stock purchases based on inside information he may have received. “No. Absolutely not,” she said.
The denial came after Pelosi made headlines when her husband, who became known for making stock trades worth millions, bought computer chip stocks.
Pelosi’s office defended her husband’s purchases and reiterated that Pelosi, who could take action preventing lawmakers and their spouses from trading shares in the House for a vote, does not own any shares.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, told Fox News it was “completely irrelevant”, in the name of conflict of interest laws, whether it was Pelosi or her husband who owns and initiates stock transactions.
“Her answer that her husband did the stock trading is irrelevant, and she knows it,” Arnold said. “Whether her spouse owns and conducts the stock trades is irrelevant for conflict of interest laws, which is why she is required to disclose those stock trades in the first place.”
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“While disclosure laws are fundamental to revealing whether a member has used non-public information for profit or whether their personal investments have influenced official action, disclosure itself solves no problem and does not mean that there is no conflict of interest present,” Arnold added. “Once disclosure is made, it is important that any information is considered if there appears to be a problem.”
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Pelosi is worth around $114 million, according to his 2018 staff financial disclosure
Several elected Republicans and Democrats have spoken out in recent months in favor of efforts and measures to prevent members of Congress from trading stocks, but there seems to be no consensus among members of the Senate or of the House on what a final bill should look like.
Fox News’ Megan Henney and Houston Keene contributed to this article.