July 19, 2024

Pelosi defends lawmakers, spouses trading stocks: ‘We’re a free-market economy’

Fox Business | by Maria Lencki | December 15, 2021

The House speaker’s comments come as a recent report showed 49 members of Congress failed to report their financial trades

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed she doesn’t believe members of Congress and their spouses should be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in Congress.

“We’re a free market economy,” Pelosi explained in a press briefing. “They should be able to participate in that.” 

But, she said, lawmakers should be disclosing their transactions in accordance with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, commonly referred to as the STOCK Act, and other ethics rules. 

The speaker’s comments come as a recent report from Insider revealed that 49 members of Congress failed to correctly report their financial trades as required by the STOCK Act.

Members of Congress have used excuses such as “ignorance of the law, clerical errors and mistakes by an accountant” for failing to properly comply, according to Insider. The list includes Democratic and Republican members.

The penalty for failing to comply could be a standard fine of $200, which could be waved by ethics officials. 

Members on the list include Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., and Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas. 

In September, a government watchdog group asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark, D-Mass., after she allegedly failed to disclose “up to $285,000 in financial transactions” in a timely manner.

The STOCK Act has garnered more attention amid the COVID-19 pandemic as some government officials were suspected of using information they had from their government roles to profit.

FOX Business’ Fred Lucas contributed to this report.

Source: Pelosi defends lawmakers, spouses trading stocks: ‘We’re a free-market economy’ | Fox Business