With reports indicating that Democrat lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation to ban stock trading by members of Congress, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., made a jab at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during a Friday press conference.
McCarthy said it would not be appropriate for Pelosi to write the bill, given her venture capitalist husband Paul Pelosi's investments. The Pelosis have gained the vast majority of their wealth from Paul Pelosi's stock trading, according to Insider.
"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’t do that," McCarthy said.
On Tuesday, Pelosi signed a periodic financial disclosure revealing that her husband had sold up to $5 million in shares of software company Nvidia, at a loss of $341,365. A separate financial disclosure from July 14 showed Paul Pelosi had exercised 200 call options for Nvidia in June.
The document indicating the sale of the stock came one day before the Senate passed a semiconductor bill, which cleared the House the next day.
According to Punchbowl News, House Democrats are planning to roll out a bill in August that would prohibit lawmakers, their spouses, and senior staff from trading stocks, and would require them to divest entirely or put the investments into a qualified blind trust. Sources told the news outlet that affected individuals would still be allowed to invest in mutual funds.
McCarthy said on Friday that Pelosi may have shared information about the semiconductor bill with her husband, while conceding he could not confirm that those conversations occurred.
"Look, I think the Speaker of the House has greater determination of what comes to the floor, what gets out of the committee," McCarthy said. "And her husband didn't just trade stock, he traded options. I think what her husband did was wrong.
“When she said she never told him anything, I know they spent their time together overseas and when they're coming back, I'm sure she had conversations on the phone about what was going to be on the floor.
"I'm sure she had conversations about what the chip version finally looked like. I'm sure she had those conversations; I don't know if he was able to hear them or not. But I think we need to bring trust back to this institution."
If Republicans retake the House in the congressional midterm elections, McCarthy pledged to "look all the way through" legislation to bar lawmakers from stock trading. McCarthy said he only owns mutual funds and does not own stocks.
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