House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the prospect of banning members of Congress and their spouses from purchasing and trading stocks despite support from more left-leaning members of Congress.
Pelosi, who does not own stock herself, said Wednesday that members of Congress should be able to own stock. However, she said, they should be reporting their stocks in compliance with the STOCK Act and in the interest of transparency.
"This is a free market and people — we are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that," Pelosi said during her weekly press conference.
FOURTEEN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS REPORTEDLY VIOLATED STOCK TRADE REPORTING LAW
Pelosi's comments contrast with the views of more liberal members, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who have both said they do not feel members of Congress should trade stocks.
"It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office," Ocasio-Cortez recently tweeted. "The access and influence we have should be exercised for the public interest, not our profit. It shouldn't be legal for us to trade individual stock with the info we have."
The New York Democrat also said she does not own any stocks so she can remain impartial about policies.
Although Pelosi does not own stock, her husband Paul Pelosi is an investor who owns and trades multiple stocks. Because of his stocks, Pelosi is considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress, according to Business Insider. Fourteen members of Congress and three senior staffers in Pelosi's office have violated the STOCK Act.
"The American people should never have to guess whether or not an elected official is advancing an issue or voting on a bill based on what's good for the country or what's good for their own personal financial interests," Warren told the outlet Tuesday.
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The STOCK Act, signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2012, requires members of Congress and their employees to file reports any time they purchase or sell a stock worth over $1,000 in an effort to provide transparency and avoid conflicts of interest based on insider knowledge. The members have up to 45 days after the act to file the report.