Pelosi moves to block congress stock trading legislation

Polls show that upwards of 65 percent of voters favor banning members of Congress from being allowed to trade stocks while in office, according to Business Insider

When those polled were given the most common reasons for and against the policy, that statistic jumped to 74 percent supporting the ban on members of Congress being allowed to trade stocks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disagrees, however, resisting the ban and opting instead for a consideration of raising the penalties for STOCK Act violations.

“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,” BI reported.

“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.

This news came after Insider’s Conflicted Congress investigation found that dozens of lawmakers and 182 members of senior congressional staff had violated the law which requires them to make a speedy disclosure of their stock purchases to combat insider trading.

When she was asked about Insider’s project the House Speaker confirmed that members of Congress should indeed obey the law and she seemed to be completely on board with the idea of fending off insider trading, despite allegations that she might have benefited from suspicious trades.

However, when asked about the stock trading ban she was firmly in the “no” camp: “We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” she said.

While members of Congress are certainly not underpaid, the House Speaker is one of the  wealthiest members of Congress according to some analysis, and while she does not trade stocks herself, her husband Paul Pelosi, has invested millions of dollars in stocks that the speaker is required to disclose by law.