US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, February 9, 2022.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders have greenlighted a plan to craft legislation that would prohibit members of Congress from trading stock, after months of resistance to a ban by Pelosi, CNBC confirmed Wednesday.
At Pelosi’s direction, the House Administration Committee is working on drafting the rules, and the legislation is expected to be put up for a vote this year, likely before the November midterm elections.
In the Senate, several versions of a stock trading ban are under consideration, including one co-authored by progressive Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines.
“When you’re elected, you’re here to serve the people, not the elite, and [a stock trading ban] I think is a step forward, an important step forward, to restore the faith and trust of the American people in this institution,” Daines told CNBC on Wednesday.
Many questions remain about what types of investments would be prohibited, what incoming members would be required to do to comply with a new law, and whether family members of lawmakers would also be banned from trading stocks.
Nevertheless, Pelosi’s support for a stock trading ban in the House, first reported by Punchbowl News, represents an about-face for the speaker, and comes after years of congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle rejecting the idea of limiting what investments members of Congress can hold.
In the past, opponents of a ban on stock trading in Congress have claimed it would hamper efforts to recruit the best candidates to run for office. Meanwhile, many of their own families have grown wealthy by investing in the stock market, including Pelosi’s.
Yet in recent months, Pelosi and her top lieutenants have come under growing pressure from rank-and-file members to take action and pass a stock trading ban.
These increasingly noisy calls for a ban have been spurred in part by growing public support for a prohibition on lawmakers trading stocks.
A recent survey commissioned by a conservative advocacy group found that 76% of voters believed that lawmakers and their spouses had an “unfair advantage” in the stock market. The same survey, conducted by the Convention of States Action, also found that just 5% of likely voters approved of members of Congress trading stocks.
They also reflect the impact of new revelations about how widespread violations are of the current law, the 2012 STOCK Act, which was designed to prevent insider trading and conflicts of interest in Congress.
Last year alone, 54 members violated the STOCK Act rules, according to an analysis by Business Insider published earlier this year.
The question at the heart of the stock trading issue is whether or not members of Congress have an unfair advantage in the stock…
Read More: Congress moves to ban stock trading by members as Pelosi backs