House

Pelosi teases September vote on bill banning lawmaker stock trading

Nancy Pelosi
Greg Nash
Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters at the Capitol on Sept. 14, 2022.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday teased a vote in the House on a bill to ban lawmakers from trading stocks, telling reporters that the long-awaited legislation could be ready to come to the floor this month.

“There’s been discussion about it, and just recently, this morning, actually, the committee, we’ve been going back and forth, and they were refining things and talking to members about what they think will work, and we believe we have a product that we can bring to the floor this month,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference in the Capitol.

The Speaker said she is “pleased” with the measure, adding, “It’s very strong.”

The push to ban congressional lawmakers from trading stocks, which at one point had little support on Capitol Hill, gained steam this Congress after news surfaced that members have violated laws meant to prevent them from making financial transactions that could be considered conflicts of interest.

On Tuesday, The New York Times published an extensive report that said 97 lawmakers or their family members have bought or sold financial assets in the past three years that could be considered conflicts of interest.

That number included Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate.

While negotiations on a lawmaker stock trading ban have been underway behind the scenes for months, the effort drew headlines roughly two weeks ago when a bipartisan lawmakers made a public push for a vote on the legislation by Sept. 30 — the last day the House is scheduled to vote in Washington before the November midterm elections.

The letter — addressed to Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and top lawmakers on the House Administration Committee — also laid out a consensus framework to reform lawmaker stock trading. Nine lawmakers signed on to the letter, all of whom have previously spearheaded proposals to ban lawmaker stock trading.

The framework — led by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) — says any measures related to lawmaker stock trading should prohibit members of Congress, their spouses and their minor dependents from “owning or trading securities, commodities, futures, derivatives, options, or other similar financial assets, including where such investments are traded through an investment vehicle that the covered person controls.”

Those holdings, according to the framework, should be divested, placed in qualified blind trusts, or moved to diversified mutual or exchange-traded funds, U.S. Treasury bills, notes, or bonds.

Notably missing from the framework was senior staff — some proposals floated on Capitol Hill have advocated for banning top staffers from trading stocks.

Asked on Wednesday if legislation brought to the floor will include staff, Pelosi said, “When the bill comes out, you’ll see what it is, and those are some of the discussions that go back and forth.”

The Speaker — whose husband, Paul Pelosi, is venture capitalist — threw her support behind a ban on lawmaker stock trading in February, after previously saying that members of Congress should be allowed to take part in the “free-market economy.”

According to Insider, the Pelosis have attained the vast majority of their wealth through stocks, options and investments ordered by Paul Pelosi.

The couple made headlines in July when Paul Pelosi sold up to $5 million in shares of chipmaker Nvidia days before the House passed a bill centered on the domestic chip manufacturing company.

Tags Brian Fitzpatrick Insider Kevin McCarthy Kevin McCarthy Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi NVIDIA Paul Pelosi Raja Krishnamoorthi Stock trading The New York Times United States Congress

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