If Republicans retake Congress next year, Nancy Pelosi may be blocked from making millions on insider stock deals – as will other members of the House.
That is because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said he is considering limiting or barring lawmakers from holding or trading stocks and equities if Republicans gain a majority in the House in November.
McCarthy’s reported position is in direct contrast to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has said lawmakers should be permitted to participate in stock trading in a “free-market economy.”
Pelosi has benefited big-time from the glaring exemption.
On Monday The Daily Elephant covered a report that Pelosi had raked in as much as $30 million from insider stock trades on Big Tech companies like Google — she oversees in Congress.
After decades of public service, Pelosi’s family has amassed a fortune estimated to be as high as $250 million.
McCarthy’s potential changes come as Insider’s Conflicted Congress project revealed 52 congressional lawmakers and 182 senior congressional staffers had violated the STOCK Act, an Obama-era law designed to clamp down on insider trading and protect against conflicts of interest.
The STOCK Act allows members of Congress to legally trade stocks based on insider information they may have, as long as they disclose the trades publicly within 45 days.
According to an Insider analysis of congressional financial disclosures, McCarthy is among federal lawmakers who have voluntarily abstained from trading individual stocks.
Business Insider reported, citing Punchbowl News, McCarthy has yet to come to any conclusions on what types of limitations would be put in place.
McCarthy’s is considering news rules that would allow lawmakers only to hold professionally managed mutual funds or specific stocks in the kinds of companies that are not relevant to the committee work they do.
Pelosi has publicly defended the practice at a press conference last month, after Insider’s Bryan Metzger asked if she would support a stock-trading ban for members.
“We are a free-market economy,” Pelosi. “They should be able to participate in that.”
Democrat lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have also endorsed stock-trading bans.
Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., is also preparing to introduce legislation that would ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading the individual stocks of corporations, as many spend significant amounts of money lobbying the federal government and compete for lucrative government contracts.
A proposed bill that would end trades among members was introduced in the Senate last year. Known as the Ban Conflicted Trading Act, it is sponsored by four lawmakers, including Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Georgia’s other freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga.