Congressional stock trading ban gains momentum with support from Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After initally opposing such an initiative, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is open to a congressional stock trading ban, Axios reports, per Punchbowl News.

At Pelosi's direction, "the House Administration Committee is working on drafting the rules" for a ban, "and the legislation is expected to be put up for a vote this year, likely before the November midterm elections," notes CNBC.

The movement to limit or prohibit members of Congress from owning a stock is already one with bipartisan support across both the House and the Senate, notes Axios. In January, 27 representatives from both sides of the ideological spectrum signed a letter urging Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to consider a ban for lawmakers. And in the Senate, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) have teamed up to draft their own version of a policy.

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"When you're elected, you're here to serve the people, not the elite, and [a stock trading ban] I think is a step forward, an important step forward, to restore the faith and trust of the American people in this institution," Daines told CNBC on Wednesday.

What exactly the ban will prohibit — whether lawmakers' family members can still trade, what type of investments are off limits, etc. — still remains to be seen, but Pelosi's support "represents a significant shift for the speaker," especially considering her husband is an active trader, notes CNBC and Axios.

Pelosi had previously told reporters in December that the U.S. is a "free-market economy," and lawmakers "should be able to participate in that" — though she may have cracked the door to some sort of rules change after the fact.

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Brigid Kennedy

Brigid is a staff writer at The Week and a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Her passions include improv comedy, David Fincher films, and breakfast food. She lives in New York.