House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is receiving harsh criticism from a House Democrat for her lack of leadership.
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) issued a lengthy statement blasting Pelosi’s handling of legislation banning members of Congress from trading stocks.
“For months, momentum grew in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to finally take a step towards prohibiting Members of Congress from day trading while on the job. We saw remarkable progress towards rectifying glaring examples of conflicts of interest,” Spanberger said.
She added, “And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position. However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics, hand-waving gestures, and blatant instances of Lucy pulling the football.
We saw remarkable progress towards rectifying glaring conflicts of interest.
And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position.
However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics. (2/9)
— Rep. Abigail Spanberger (@RepSpanberger) September 30, 2022
Spanberger continued, “This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known.”
She argued leadership “chose to ignore these voices, push them aside, and look for new ways they could string the media and the public along — and evade public criticism.”
According to Spanberger, it is “apparent that House leadership does not have its heart in this effort, because the package released earlier this week was designed to fail.”
The lawmaker claims it is “was written to create confusion surrounding reform efforts and complicate a straightforward reform priority — banning Members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks — all while creating the appearance that House Leadership wanted to take action.”
Concluding her statement, Spanberger said in the months ahead she will “be dogged in my efforts to ban Members of Congress from using the privilege of their position to profit. I look forward to working with both my Democratic and Republican colleagues to get these reforms done.”
Earlier this week, Insider reported House Democratic leaders released the text of a bill banning members of Congress from trading stocks titled, “Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act.”
The bill would “also increase penalties for violating federal conflicts-of-interest law and strengthen several transparency provisions,” as Insider explained.
Pelosi responded to Spanberger’s criticism, saying the Democrat’s “bill is contained in this bill.”
She continued, “Other members had ideas, too, to improve upon the bill.”
The House Speaker reportedly said it does not make sense to call up the bill until they have the votes, suggesting it continues to be a work in progress.
“We’ll see,” she said.
Spanberger and other lawmakers have been drafting their own legislation for months behind closed doors, as The Washington Post noted.
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