Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is pushing for a vote on a congressional stock trading ban before the midterm elections this November, according to a source familiar with the matter.
There are a variety of proposals floating around the House and Senate and key details still need to be ironed out — including whether lawmakers’ spouses would also be barred from trading and whether the ban would include cryptocurrencies.
But the source said Schumer (D-NY) nonetheless wants Congress to push some form of a bill through both the Senate and House before the midterm elections scheduled for Nov. 8.
Last week, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also said she had been in discussions about a stock trading bill, adding, “We believe we have a product that we can bring to the floor this month.”
Pelosi’s husband, Paul, has taken flak for making millions of dollars by trading shares of tech companies his wife is supposed to regulate.
While there’s no smoking gun showing that the Pelosis have traded using insider info, their portfolio has often outperformed the S&P 500, The Post reported in January.
Nancy Pelosi was initially dismissive of calls to ban stock trading, shrugging off such behavior as part of the “free market economy” in December. Following an outcry, she dropped her opposition to a ban in February.
The Pelosis are far from the only ones to profit off questionable trades, with 97 members of Congress or their immediate family members having bought or sold shares of companies in industries they are supposed to be overseeing as part of their committee assignments, according to a recent New York Times analysis.
However, not all Senate Democrats appear to be on board with a vote before the midterms.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), a leading backer of a stock trading ban, told Insider last week that a stock trading ban is not going to happen until after the midterms.
“I’m looking forward to getting this across the finish line, but it’s not going to happen before the election,” Merkley said.
A spokesperson for Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), who has also been outspoken about banning congressional stock trades, likewise gave a noncommittal answer when The Post asked when he expected a vote.
“Haha I don’t know sorry!” Ossoff spokesperson Jake Best said on Wednesday.
Some congressional staffers have scoffed at the idea that lawmakers will ever ban themselves from trading shares.
“It’s all performative,” one cynical Senate staffer grumbled in July when asked about a potential ban. “It’s not going anywhere.”
“You’re not getting members of Congress to self-regulate the money they can or can’t make,” another DC insider said at the time. “Why would they do something that doesn’t benefit them?”
Meanwhile, two proposed exchange-traded funds named after Pelosi and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) plan to make it easier for everyday traders to copy lawmakers’ trades.
Additional reporting by Lydia Moynihan
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