House vote on Congressional stock trading ban could happen soon

Surprisingly, it appears that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is moving closer to holding a vote on a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks, the Washington Times reports

Pelosi, this week, suggested that such a vote could even happen before the end of the month.

“There’s been discussion about it, and just recently, this morning, actually, the committee, we’ve been going back and forth, and they were refining things and talking to members about what they think will work, and we believe we have a product that we can bring to the floor this month,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi went on to say that she is “pleased” with the bill, calling it “very strong.” But, there is no real indication as to what the bill actually contains.

Background

One of the things that makes this so surprising is that Pelosi, seemingly, has been against the idea of a ban on congressional stock trading from the start.

In recent years, there has been a significant bipartisan push by members of Congress to implement such a ban. And, this push, in large part, has resulted from numerous questionable incidences of congressional stock transactions.

One need look no further than Pelosi for an example.

Recently, it was reported that Pelosi’s husband purchased up to $5 million worth of stock in a semiconductor company just before the U.S. Senate was going to vote on a measure that would give billions of dollars to the semiconductor industry.

Why the sudden change?

The problem here is obvious. Members of Congress have information and power that the general public does not have, and they can use this information and power to their advantage in the stock market.

The ban would stop this, and it would seem like an obvious thing to do. But, many members of Congress have frowned upon such a ban for obvious reasons, and Pelosi was among them.

It is easy to understand why she would be: both she and her husband have benefited from the stock market perhaps more than any other member of Congress. Most of their sizeable wealth has come from stock trading.

The big question is why Pelosi has suddenly changed her tune with regard to a ban on congressional stock trading. It’s not exactly clear why, and it just doesn’t feel right. If such a ban is passed, it will be best to check the fine print.

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