OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Texas Republican Rep. Chip Roy is ripping Democrats for claiming publicly that they support a bill aimed at preventing lawmakers from insider trading.
In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Texas Republican slammed Democrats for not moving with any urgency to at least hold a vote on the STOCK Act.
Roy noted that he had worked with Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger on the bill that would prevent lawmakers and members of their families from trading individual stocks.
“As you are aware, the House floor schedule this week contains the ‘Possible Consideration of Legislation Related to the STOCK Act.’ I am glad to see the House finally taking up the idea of reforming policies related to Member stock trading. However, as one of the original sponsors of reform language — notably introducing HR336, the TRUST in Congress Act, some 2 years ago with my Democrat colleague from Virginia, Abigail Spanberger — I was interested to see the ‘final’ language via Jake Sherman’s Twitter account last night,” Roy wrote.
“The state of the House of Representatives is absurd — and that is not a partisan statement,” he continued. “Like virtually every other legislative idea or proposal, we have not had any robust debate on reforms to member stock trading or even a ‘Member Day’ hearing that would allow each member of the House to air individual views on the matter. This complex issue requires thought, debate, amendment, and a full airing in committee to build as much bipartisan agreement as possible rather than the normal cram-down from the top that permeates literally everything we do.”
Roy said members’ investments and their committee work have sparked strong bipartisan concerns about conflicts of interest.
Pelosi’s team dismissed Roy’s concerns and accused him of politicizing the issue.
“As Rep. Roy is aware, the Committee on House Administration recently held the only congressional hearing on this topic,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a statement. “That bipartisan hearing helped forge this proposal, which is a comprehensive proposal that bans stock trading by Members but also addresses other needed reforms. Sadly, Rep. Roy appears intent on playing partisan games rather than being part of the solution.”
Pelosi, of course, has every reason to be dismissive of the legislation.
The Speaker and her husband, Paul Pelosi, have come under fire this year for their suspicious stock trades.
Pelosi, among other lawmakers, has been accused numerous times of benefiting from insider knowledge.
An analysis from the New York Post detailed how the Pelosi family has made a fortune in the stock market, particularly in recent years.
And the Pelosis’ overall portfolio — which has also included companies like Disney and Roblox — beat the S&P 500 by 4.9 percent in 2019 and a whopping 14.3 percent in 2020, according to data crunched for The Post by FinePrint, an outfit pushing for greater transparency of financial holdings on both sides of the aisle.
The Pelosis’ exposure to tech stocks, however, may have actually hurt them in 2021, when their portfolio underperformed the S&P 500 by 15.5 percent, according to FinePrint.
When asked whether the opportunity to profit from trades could create a conflict of interest, the speaker flatly said “no” and rejected the idea of a ban on trading individual stocks. Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill did not dispute The Post’s findings that Paul Pelosi has generally outperformed the market but insisted that the trades are not an issue.
Pelosi was against stock trade bans until enough Democrats flipped on her.
During a press conference in December, Pelosi appeared to rule out banning members of Congress and their spouses from trading stocks.
When she was asked directly whether she supported a ban, she said: “No, I don’t.”
Asked why such trades shouldn’t be stopped, she replied: “Because this is a free market and people—we are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.”
GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, who will likely become the next Speaker if Republicans win back in the House in November, said there will be an investigation into the Pelosis stock trading.
McCarthy expressed concern over Paul Pelosi having tremendous success in picking the correct stocks to purchase and sell and recently purchased large shares of NVIDIA before the House and Senate passed legislation that benefited the company.
“I would look through it,” he said of the Democrat proposal to ban stock trading for spouses of Congress members. “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.”
“Her husband can trade all the way through, but now it becomes a crisis?” he said. “I think what her husband did was wrong.”
“I think we need to bring trust back to this institution,” he 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 not do that.”