The Democrats should pass a quick bill-- Jon Ossoff's bill to be precise-- to ban stock trading among members of Congress and their nuclear families. Ossoff's bill is very popular with the public-- between two-thirds and three-quarters of voters support it-- and, probably because Pelosi, whose husband recently bought millions of dollars worth of tech stocks, has been so outspoken in her opposition, Republicans are rallying around it as well.
Virtually all progressive Senate candidates-- from Lucas Kunce (MO), Glenn Hurst (IA) and Tom Nelson (WI) to John Fetterman (PA) and Morgan Harper are backing Ossoff's bill. Now even conservative Democratic candidates feel forced to blurt out something in support of Ossoff's bill. Even Wisconsin billionaire Alex Lasry muttered something about being for it when he sensed the momentum building for Tom Nelson's aggressive stance on banning stock trading for members of Congress.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Committee on House Administration to consider harsher penalties for members and senior staff who violate the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act), along with a review of potential violations by members. "The speaker believes that sunlight is the best disinfectant and has asked Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren to examine the issue of Members' unacceptable noncompliance with the reporting requirements in the STOCK Act," said spokesman Drew Hammill.
That came after Insider's Conflicted Congress investigation found dozens of lawmakers and 182 senior congressional staff had violated the law, which requires timely disclosure of stock purchases in order to counteract insider trading.
Asked about Insider's project, Pelosi affirmed that members of Congress should report in a timely manner, but was dismissive of a broader stock trading ban. "We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that," she said.
...Amid reports that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is supportive of a stock trading ban for members, House Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed McCarthy while declining to take his own position on the issue. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer also dodged the question when asked by Insider, though he did say he did not own stocks and thinks "that's the right thing to do."
After taking a public relations beating over the last few days and warnings from some of her more in-touch members (like AOC), Pelosi has now altered her tone-deaf messaging... slightly. Earlier today, during her weekly press conference, she was less aggressive in her opposition. She started by talking out of her ass: "I have great confidence in the integrity of my members. They are remarkable. So when people talk about well, somebody might do this and somebody, I trust our members." Later, realizing how stupid she sounded, she added "To give a blanket attitude of we can't do this and we can't do that because we can't be trusted, I just don't buy into that. But if members want to do that, I'm OK with that."
...Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, or STOCK Act, members of Congress are barred from using nonpublic information they receive as part of their job to turn a personal profit. They are also required to disclose any financial transactions within 45 days of them being issued. A number of members, however, have failed to abide by the rules when it comes to reporting trades, according to Business Insider.
...House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on Wednesday said he was against banning members from owning or trading stocks, contending that congressional lawmakers should be afforded the same financial privileges as other Americans.
Pelosi on Thursday also suggested that the Supreme Court should be held to the same standards when it comes to stock trading, telling reporters, “If we're saying everybody should be living by the same standard then let-- so be it. That's OK with me. But I don't think that the court should be let off the hook.”
“So, I say when we go forward with anything, let's take the Supreme Court with us to have disclosure,” she added.
That's likely Pelosi's and Hoyer's idea of a poison bill and a hope that if Congress rams it through, the Supreme Court will rule it unconstitutional. I heard a ton of excuses from members today about why Ossoff's bills unfair... but no one was willing to go on the record with their objections.