Pelosi on stock ban vote delay: 'I wish we would've had the Republicans to vote for it'

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who opposed bringing the bill to the floor before the House recess, says he wanted to see harsher penalties for insider trading in the legislation.

Updated: October 4, 2022 - 10:31am

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the bill banning stock trading among lawmakers and senior government officials could have passed the Democrat-led House with some Republican votes.

The legislation, formally titled the Combatting Financial Conflicts of Interest in Government Act, won't see a vote before the Nov. 8 election takes place. Pelosi had said she would bring it to the floor in September, but the Democrat-led House left for recess on Friday after passing a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded through Dec. 16.

"We didn't have the votes," she told Just the News at the Congressional Black Caucus Phoenix Awards gala on Saturday evening. "I wish we would've had the Republicans to vote for it because we're almost there, but there are a few of our members who just, Steny has said he doesn't want to vote for it, but I can only lose three votes."

Pelosi said many Republicans claim they are in favor of a stock ban applicable to lawmakers.

"They claim they are for it, but it doesn't add up, so you can't bring it without the votes," Pelosi said.

In addition to members of Congress, the ban in the bill would cover senior officials in all three branches of government and extend the individual stock trading ban to spouses and dependent children. The legislation also covers cryptocurrencies. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer explained his position on the stock ban bill during an interview with Just the News.

"I don't know that I'm against it as it is," he said. "What I said was it was just reported, members need to look at, it's complicated, it's going to have a broad effect, and they need to look at it. So I was against putting it on the floor, you know, with 48 hours notice."

Hoyer was asked if it's a bill the Democrats will take up if they retain the majority. 

"I might," he said. "I want to look at it. I've got some ideas of my own. We ought to make sure that anybody who does insider trading has a bit more than the average person, any member of Congress does it, we ought to have substantially increased penalties to start out with, so I'm looking at some of those."

The stock trading ban legislation in its current form would raise the fine for violating the STOCK Act to $1,000. The STOCK Act was signed into law under former President Obama and requires members to disclose stock purchases they or their spouse made. The insider trading penalty in that law is set at $200, which can be adjusted by inflation.

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