U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) represent the opposite ends of the political spectrum but they have come together with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to push a bill restricting members of Congress from owning or trading stocks.
In an appearance on Fox News’s “Jesse Watters Primetime,” Gaetz discussed the proposed legislation that includes a “Pelosi Provision,” which he explained, “does not allow spouses to trade on behalf of their family members.”
“AOC is wrong a lot – she would probably say the same thing about me – but she’s not corrupt,” the Republican lawmaker said. “And I will work with anyone and everyone to ensure that Congress is not so compromised.”
For years, Pelosi and other members of Congress, have been making money insider trading. But here’s something you don’t hear every day— AOC & Matt Gaetz are teaming up to stop it. pic.twitter.com/7TAw6MmioB
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) May 3, 2023
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and her husband buys and sells stocks regularly with much success — Pelosi’s net worth in 2021 was estimated to be as much as $171.4 million, with reports suggesting it has increased well over $100 million since 2008 — and she has openly stated that members of Congress should be able to “participate” in the free market.
Gaetz portrayed that participation as allowing “the referee to bet on the game,” stressing that “788 million dollars worth of securities traded by members of Congress last year.”
“About one in every four members of Congress is doing this, and it’s not exactly like I’m elected with a bunch of Gordon Gekkos and Bobby Axelrods,” he said. “Take Lois Frankel, who you just mentioned. She’s been a lawmaker since I was five years old, and I’m supposed to believe that all of a sudden she’s making moves like she’s Warren Buffett? This congressional stock trading has all of the fairness of like a Lia Thomas swimming competition and I think we should put an end to it.”
The proposed Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act is also sponsored by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)
“The fact that Members of the Progressive Caucus, the Freedom Caucus, and the Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, reflecting the entirety of the political spectrum, can find common ground on key issues like this should send a powerful message to America,” Fitzpatrick said in a joint statement. “We must move forward on issues that unite us, including our firm belief that trust in government must be restored, and that Members of Congress, including their dependents, must be prohibited from trading in stocks while they are serving in Congress and have access to sensitive, inside information.”
“The ability to individually trade stock erodes the public’s trust in government,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “When Members have access to classified information, we should not be trading in the stock market on it. It’s really that simple.”
Gaetz also issued a statement directed at the DC “swamp.”
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans. We cannot allow the Swamp to prioritize investing in stocks over investing in our country,” he said. “As long as concerns about insider trading hang over the legislative process, Congress will never regain the trust of the American people. Our responsibility in Congress is to serve the people, not hedge bets on the stock market.”
U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) and Chip Roy (R-Texas) have introduced another bipartisan bill, the TRUST in Congress Act, which would require members of Congress, their spouses and dependents to place investments into blind trusts while in office.
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