‘A Failure of House Leadership’-Democrats Stall on Stock Trading Ban Despite Bipartisan Support
While Republicans and Democrats cannot seem to agree on much in the last few years, one issue that has overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle is banning members of Congress from stock trading.
A poll conducted early this year by Morning Consult and Politico found that almost two-thirds of voters support a ban on stock trades for members of Congress, including a majority of voters in both parties.
An analysis by Marketwatch found that members of Congress traded over $355 million in stocks in 2021, with some members, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.), who has a net worth of $114 million, raking in millions from trading on the stock market.
It should come as no surprise then that despite members of Congress publicly supporting a ban on stock trades, they are privately trying to sabotage a bill that would do just that.
Despite Nearly 80% of Voters in Favor, House Dems Stall on Stock Trading Ban https://t.co/z4E9YLaqpx
— Progressive Push (@progressivepush) September 29, 2022
One House Democrat running in a tough re-election race did not pull punches against Democratic House leadership.
“This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known,” Said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va.
A Democratic staffer said that the bill was dead on arrival because it was effectively designed to fail.
“It wasn’t a real process,” one Democratic staffer told The Intercept. “There were all these things thrown in here that on the surface look good, but make it so expansive, that, you know, it’s not going to make it to the President’s desk.”
“We have bills that were bicameral and bipartisan, and none of us involved with those were consulted, and now we have a bill that can’t move. … A lot of folks are calling the release of any text a step forward. But it’s not a genuine step forward.”https://t.co/tEaD7xwE9q
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 1, 2022
Spanberger echoed the staffer’s claims, calling it “a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival.”
Republican members of Congress and staffers were also frustrated at the bill stalling out in Congress, with a spokesperson for Representative Matt Gaetz saying it is “unfortunate, but predictable.”
It really is indefensible that Dems could punt on passing the ban on lawmakers trading stocks. As this @PostOpinions editorial asks: "How much does leadership care about getting this done?" The editorial also usefully explains the latest developments.https://t.co/32TFT7VYUv
— Greg Sargent (@ThePlumLineGS) September 30, 2022
“The last-minute shenanigans are unfortunate, but predictable, because Congress is corrupt,” Said Joel Valdez, a spokesperson for Congressman Matt Gaetz.
Another staffer agreed with Valdez, saying that it was “no accident” that the bill has not made it to the floor for a vote.
“Several of the key issues that were worked out in some of the bipartisan efforts just weren’t addressed,” a Republican staffer told The Intercept. “There’s a lot of overwhelming consensus here, a lot of work that’s been done to achieve that. You don’t completely ignore all that on accident.”
Similar bills have stalled out in Congress this past year, including the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act introduced in January by Senator Jon Ossoff, D-Ga. which never made it past Committee in the Senate.
Other stories you may want to read: