House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made headlines when she stood up for herself and members of Congress who wish to participate in the trading of individual stocks.
According to Breitbart News, the House leader blocked the STOCK Act, saying that barring lawmakers from participation in some of the more risky money-making endeavors.
Pelosi cited a “free market economy” when saying that lawmakers and immediate family members shouldn’t have their actions stymied.
“During a press briefing on Wednesday, in response to a report from Insider showing that 49 members of Congress (Democrats and Republicans) have failed to disclose their transactions in accordance with Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012, Pelosi was asked if members of Congress and their spouses should be banned from trading individual stocks, thereby preventing insider trading,” Breitbart reported.
“We’re a free-market economy,” Pelosi explained. “They should be able to participate in that.”
The House leader did, however, note that members of Congress should be open about their stock transactions, which would hopefully fend off possible insider trading.
Insider reported that the STOCK Act of 2012, which was heavily backed by Andrew Breitbart, was created to fend off possible conflicts of interest and insider trading that members of Congress would be inevitably faced with.
A key provision of the law mandates that lawmakers publicly — and quickly — disclose any stock trade made by themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child.
But many members of Congress have not fully complied with the law. They offer excuses including ignorance of the law, clerical errors, and mistakes by an accountant. Insider has chronicled this widespread nature of this phenomenon in a new project, “Conflicted Congress.”Lawmakers and individuals alike have questioned politicians’ actions and Pelosi’s in particular, asking first, how she has amassed her fortune, and also whether she has a vested interest in how the laws of trade would allow her to continue, ethically.