According to a recent research by The New York Times, at least 97 current members of Congress or members of their close family purchased or sold securities that “intersected with their legislative activity.”
Congressmen are permitted to invest in any company, even those that might have an impact on their work as lawmakers. In recent years, a number of politicians have come under heightened attention because of their monetary windfalls. Since some members have shown to be skilled investors, researchers have developed a number of exchange-traded funds that closely resemble the personal portfolios of Congress members.
Numerous trades are revealed by The New York Times’ investigation to at least show odd timing.
For instance, on March 5, 2020, the wife of Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), who sits on the committee that investigated Boeing’s handling of its 737 Max plane, which was responsible for two deadly crashes, sold Boeing shares.
The report, which names 47 Democrats and 49 Republicans, demonstrates that this is an utterly nonpartisan issue. When the House Oversight Committee was looking into AbbVie’s medicine costs in 2020 and 2021, Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), a member of the committee, purchased shares of the pharmaceutical business.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been accused on multiple occasions of covering up her husband Paul’s trading activities, was not listed as one of the 97 lawmakers in The New York Times story. Pelosi, who does not serve on any legislative committees, was left out of the research since the Times’ attention was on committee membership.
Several Congressmen have advocated for restrictions on how they can trade stocks.
Representative Chip Roy stated, “The American people don’t want us day trading for profit and actively trading the very shares that are tied to the policies that we are deciding on and voting on every day” (R-Texas). According to The New York Times, Roy is a co-sponsor of a plan that would “require members to place individual stocks, bonds, and numerous other financial holdings in a blind trust.” A blind trust is an investment portfolio where the owner has no access to the trust’s investments and no knowledge of them.
Many of the politicians reportedly informed them the deals they reported had been “taken out independently by a spouse or a broker with no influence from them,” according to The Times. The deals, according to two members of Congress, were “accidental.”