Pelosis will face investigation if Republicans flip House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) plans to investigate House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her husband Paul Pelosi for Paul’s stock trades while she was speaker if Republicans retake the House majority in November, as they are expected to do.

Paul Pelosi has managed to successfully pick several stocks that have benefitted from bills that have been passed by Congress, including buying microchip company NVIDIA stock right before microchip legislation was passed.

“I would look all the way through it,” he said, referring to a Democrat proposal to ban Congress members’ spouses from stock trading. “What I’ve told everybody is we will come back, and we will not only investigate this, we will come back with a proposal to change the current behavior.”

A bill to do so is currently before the House, but won’t be debated until after the August recess.

“Bring trust back”

“I think we need to bring trust back to this institution,” McCarthy said. “I think we have to do a thorough investigation and look at what is the proper role for members of Congress and what influence they have, and I don’t think the proper way to do this is Nancy Pelosi writing the bill because we have proven that she can’t do that.”

Speaker Pelosi said in December 2021 that she thinks members of Congress and their spouses should be allowed to invest in the stock market. She added that if members of Congress want to pass a ban on stock trading, she’s “OK with that,” however.

Both Democrat and Republican members of Congress support the current legislation, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Josh Hawley (R-MO).

“We have to be able to assure the American people that they don’t have to worry about if they’re competing with their member of Congress’s stock portfolio in order to be heard,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “It’s a pretty simple concept.”

“Year after year, politicians somehow manage to outperform the market, buying and selling millions in stocks of companies they’re supposed to be regulating,” Hawley said. “Here’s something we can do: ban all members of Congress from trading stocks and force those who do to pay their proceeds back to the American people.”

What would happen

Under the proposed legislation, members of Congress, their spouses, and senior staff members would either have to sell off assets they currently own or place them in a blind trust, so they aren’t making decisions about which stocks to buy.

The thinking is that these steps would prevent Congress members and their families from doing what is essentially insider trading, but is that what happened with Paul Pelosi?

Anyone can look at the publicly posted congressional calendar and guess about which legislation is likely to pass in the near future–this does not require insider information and is not illegal.

Paul Pelosi ended up selling off his NVIDIA stock at a loss because of the backlash when press outlets reported his purchase, so it’s probably a moot point now anyway.

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