Nancy Pelosi Endorses Stock Trading Ban

By Ineka Damen

San Francisco– After receiving extensive backlash from both Democrats and Republicans for
her silence on the issue, Nancy Pelosi endorses a stock trading ban pushed by Democrats in
the House of Representatives. A stock trading ban would prohibit Congress members from
trading stocks to prevent possible conflicts of interest from occurring.

In December 2021, Pelosi rejected a potential stock trading ban, stating that members of
Congress “should be able to participate in our government’s free-market economy.” After
Pelosi’s public statement, she faced public outcry from both parties in Congress, as well as from
citizens. They alleged that her and her husband’s stock holdings, worth millions, caused her
initial opposition to the ban.

Part of the rationale for the proposed stock trading ban is the idea that members of Congress
have an unfair advantage compared to the public because of the daily briefings on classified
information they receive. The classified briefings can lead to possible insider trading when
members of congress buy or sell stocks based on the information they receive.

Members of Congress have been engaging in questionable stock decisions as outlined by a
New York Times article in Jan. For example, Kentucky Democrat Representative John
Yarmuth bought cannabis stock while supporting legislation in favor of the industry. Another
example involves Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul’s wife, who bought stock in Gilead
Sciences – a company that made a COVID antiviral drug – in the early days of the COVID-19

Although the politicians engaging in these practices have claimed they did nothing wrong, there
is still a large percentage of U.S. voters who lack trust in their government because of the optics
that these examples give to the public. A survey conducted by a conservative advocacy group,
Convention of States Action, found that only 5% of voters approved of stock trading within

At a time of great division in the country, members of both parties can agree to banning stock
trading within Congress. With 70% of voters supporting this ban, advocates say that it would
restore public trust in Congress, which currently has an 18% approval rating from voters,
according to a recent Gallup poll.

Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor and current Public Policy Professor at UC Berkeley,
argues that “banning members of Congress from trading stocks should be a no-brainer,
including as a means to reinforcing the public’s trust in government.” Reich adds that “members
of Congress are elected by the people to make decisions based on what is best for them and
not based on what is best for their stock portfolio.”


As Pelosi’s endorsement for the concept of a stock trading ban within Congress is a huge step
in the right direction for the Democrats actively pushing legislation to be written, there is
currently no specific piece of legislation yet. However, those in favor of the ban hope to see
legislation finalized and put up to a vote before the November midterm elections this year.
Pelosi’s support for the ban will significantly help Democrats increase their support from more
members of Congress.

Ineka Damen is a writer for the Vanguard’s Social Justice Desk. She is from Santa Barbara, CA,
and is currently studying Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics as well as a
minor in Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

About The Author

Related posts


  1. Keith Olson

    Does the ban stop Congress member’s families from investing?  Take Pelosi’s husband for instance, Paul Pelosi is a Venture Capitalist and has a huge stock portfolio.  What’s to keep him from buying stocks that his wife Nancy might “suggest” (cough, cough)?

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband purchased upwards of $11 million in major tech stocks in May and June that quickly earned him over $5 million in profit — making the moves as his wife’s chamber ostensibly works to pass a series of bills reining in Big Tech.

  2. Keith Olson

    Add to that this sweet deal:

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who previously dismissed concerns about stock trading by members of Congress but made a dramatic about-face in February when she said she was open to a ban— could save millions of dollars from the Warren-Daines capital gains exemption since her husband frequently trades shares of big tech companies.
    During a press conference last week, Pelosi was quick to point out that a similar capital gains deferral exists for the executive branch, where officials are already banned from owning individual stocks.
    “As you know, in the executive branch, when they divest of their stock, they don’t pay capital gains,” Pelosi said. “So that’s an interesting feature.”
    The tax savings from the bill for members of Congress could even potentially outweigh any profits they would have made from trading individual stock, according to tax analyst and Columbia Business School professor Robert Willens — giving backers the dual advantage of looking virtuous while also making money.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for