Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (C.A.) suggested on Thursday that she would be open to a ban on stock trading by members of Congress, which is a shift from a previous stance which held that members and their families should be permitted to make the transactions.
She was asked about the contested issue during her weekly press conference, and she noted that she trusts lawmakers but would back a ban if her caucus supported one.
“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,” she noted. However, later in her response, she added, “to give a blanket attitude of we can’t do this and we can’t do that just 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.”
Pelosi is currently facing backlash herself for previously objecting to a ban on stock trading in Congress, which has gathered momentum not only on Capitol Hill but also among the American people.
“We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” Pelosi said last month. Still, two recent polls have found that the majority of Americans are on board with banning lawmakers from trading stocks. One found 76 percent support, and the other found 67 percent.
A pair of Democrats and one Republican introduced competing bills in the Senate that have the same objective which is to ban members of Congress from trading stocks while they hold office.
The Democrat-backed bill would also prevent lawmakers’ family members from making such financial transactions, and the GOP-sponsored bill seeks to ban trading for the spouses of lawmakers as well.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TRUTHOUT.ORG