The Democratic Party has been plagued with infighting in recent months as party leaders prepare for potential widespread losses in next year’s midterm elections.
This week, one dispute came to a head when a former Obama administration ethics adviser took a shot at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
“They should be able to participate”
According to Fox News, Walter Shaub found fault with remarks Pelosi made regarding lawmakers trading stocks.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the House speaker fielded one reporter’s question regarding whether lawmakers and their spouses should be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in Congress.
“No,” Pelosi responded. “We are in a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.”
In an email statement to Fox, Shaub offered his disapproving take on her rhetoric, writing: “What a disgusting comment. This is the opposite of government ethics.”
Going on to defend his position, the ex-White House ethics chief asserted that “nobody kidnapped these members of Congress” and forced them to serve in D.C., arguing that Americans are “sick” of elected officials seemingly trading stocks based on insider information.
“Bar them from trading”
“They should absolutely be banned from trading stocks,” Shaub concluded. “Let them buy diversified mutual funds. Let them buy government bonds. But bar them from trading stocks for crying out loud.”
He also addressed the issue in a tweet that was apparently later deleted.
“Speaker of the House Pelosi, if you seek to drain the swamp, if you seek public trust in the integrity of Congress, if you seek government ethics, come here to this gate,” he wrote.
Drawing inspiration from former President Ronald Reagan’s famous speech in Berlin, Germany, Shaub declared: “Madam Speaker, close this flood gate! Madam Speaker, tear down this Wall Street participation!”
Of course, he is not the only unlikely source of criticism for Pelosi’s stance on the topic. In a recent tweet, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called it “absolutely ludicrous” that her colleagues were allowed to trade stocks while in office, affirming that the “access and influence” afforded to lawmakers “should be exercised for the public interest” instead of personal profits.