Newsroom /

Nancy on Defense: As STOCK Act Violations Spike, Pelosi Says ‘This is a Free Market.’

Support Grows for Preventing Congress Members from Trading Stocks in Office.

Key Points

  • There has been a significant spike in STOCK Act violations according to a report from Business Insider.
  • 49 members of Congress and 182 Capitol Hill staffers are late in reporting their trades.
  • Nancy Pelosi says “This is a free market,” and Congress members should participate.

STOCK Act violations are spiking and Nancy Pelosi doesn’t really see a problem.

Earlier this week California congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked to comment on a recent Business Insider bombshell report that found 49 members of Congress and 182 Capitol staffers late in reporting their 2020/21 stock trades.

“Should members of Congress and their spouses be banned from trading individual stocks while serving in Congress?” one reporter asked.

“No…we have a responsibility to report on the stocks. I’m not familiar with that 5-month review but if people aren’t reporting, they should be,” Pelosi answered. “This is a free-market economy. [Members of Congress] should be able to participate in that.”

The Pelosis have making “well-timed” stock bets for years —of course she doesn’t want to stop the money train. As previously reported by The Drill Down, Pelosi is the poster-child for vastly increasing your wealth while in Congress. In 2008, Pelosi and her husband got special access to Visa’s Initial Public Offering and purchased shares valued between $1 million and $5 million. Beginning in 2009, financial disclosures reveal that Pelosi’s husband, Paul, has a history of purchasing Amazon call options around the Pentagon’s JEDI program-related milestones.

The Pelosis are worth $200 million dollars.

But the STOCK Act is notoriously difficult to enforce. Pelosi – and other members of Congress – have rarely faced consequences. While Section 18 of the Act allows for fines and up to 15 years in prison for trading violations, no lawmaker has ever been charged.

The STOCK Act was signed into law in 2012 with substantial bipartisan support following the release of the Government Accountability Institute president Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out. Schweizer’s book uncovered an epidemic of lawmakers, from both parties, leveraging knowledge acquired while in office to make insider stock trades.

Nearly ten years later, little has changed.

Left of Pelosi, we have Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who staunchly rebukes trading stocks while in office. The congresswoman says she wants to remain as impartial as possible. There’s even been bipartisan support for a bill prohibiting trades by members of Congress.

“Because we have access to sensitive information and upcoming policy, I do not believe members of Congress should hold/trade individual stock and I choose not to hold any so I can remain impartial about policy marking,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Instagram.

“I want to do my job as ethically and impartially as I can,” she added.

We have to agree with Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on this one.