Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on Friday over their “failure of leadership” in not passing legislation that would ban members of Congress from trading stock.
“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,” Spanberger said in a statement.
Spanberger introduced the legislation under consideration, the Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust in Congress Act, in January just before President Joe Biden took office.
The bill’s 71 co-sponsors included both Democrats and Republicans, and Pelosi claimed to support it after initially opposing. Spanberger was skeptical that leadership actually supported the bill, however, once they put the bill into a kitchen sink proposal that crashed and didn’t leave sufficient time to fix the problem.
“Stringing” the public along
“Rather than bring Members of Congress together who are passionate about this issue, leadership chose to ignore these voices, push them aside, and look for new ways they could string the media and the public along — and evade public criticism,” Spanberger said.
She added, “As part of their diversionary tactics, the House Administration Committee was tasked with creating a new piece of legislation — and they ultimately introduced a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival, with only days remaining before the end of the legislative session and no time to fix it.”
Rather than trading individual stocks or investing in specific mutual funds, the legislation would require members of Congress, their spouses, and other high-ranking members of the government such as Supreme Court Justices to use a government-approved blind trust to invest their money.
While some argue that the bill doesn’t have safeguards in place to ensure that the trusts are really blind, blind trusts have been used in the past for presidents and high-ranking officials to manage their investments without benefitting unfairly from insider knowledge.
Pelosi under fire
Pelosi has been under fire for numerous suspicious-seeming investments her husband Paul made that seemed to coincide with House bills affecting those industries.
According to The Hill, the Pelosis are worth $114 million, most of it from stock trades by Paul that outperform the market significantly. $30 million alone of their net worth has come from Paul’s trades of big tech companies that Nancy leads in regulating.
He even outperformed the market in 2020, a year when most people lost money. There’s an app that is dedicated to following his trades so that others can also make money.
It just seems too coincidental that he has managed to make all this money trading stocks when his wife would be privvy to insider information about them. And that Pelosi, who has rammed through numerous bills with less support than this one, would “fail” to pass it while claiming she supports it.