Pelosi's husband invests millions in a tech stock prior to a vote on chip subsidy bill

According to the House speaker's disclosure report published a few days back, House speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband Paul invested $5 million in 20,000 shares of NVIDIA.

NVIDIA is one of the world's leading manufacturers of advanced computer processors, which are highly dependent on semiconductors.

Paul was recently in the news for being charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence in connection to a car crash in Northern California. 

Like every other citizen, Paul Pelosi is allowed to invest his money where he desires.  It should be none of anybody's concern.

However, in this particular case, there is an obvious problem.

The Daily Caller reported that Paul Pelosi's stock purchase occurred prior to a vote on a bill next week that would grant massive subsidies to chip manufacturing.

The Senate is scheduled to convene next Tuesday to vote on a bipartisan competition bill that includes $52 billion in grants and subsidies for semiconductor manufacturers and $45 billion to strengthen their supply chain for high-tech products.  The bill would also provide chip manufacturers with tax credits for production.  The House passed this bill in February.

In June, chip manufacturing companies, including NVIDIA, had dispatched a letter to Washington requesting that lawmakers expedite the passage of the bill.

The obvious issue is that only a select few, such as Speaker Pelosi, were aware of the contents of the bill and the fact that the bill was heading for a vote in the Senate next week.  Her husband purchasing seven figures' worth of stock in a company that stands to gain from the bill seems too much of a coincidence.  It most certainly presents a case of conflict of interest for Pelosi, who stands to profit through her husband.

Paul Pelosi is known to be an avid investor in the stock market.  Both Nancy and Paul Pelosi are believed to be worth at least $46,123,051.  This places the House speaker among the 25 richest members of Congress.  The vast majority of the couple's wealth is from stocks, options, and investments made by Paul.

Last year, Paul Pelosi was in the news for earning more than $5 million after trading stocks in Google parent company Alphabet Inc, Amazon, and Apple, ahead of the House Judiciary Committee's vote to advance five antitrust bills targeting major tech giants. 

But Paul is far from the only offender.

Back in April 2021, a study by the Campaign Legal Center revealed that lawmakers from both parties traded stocks hundreds of times throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lawmakers invested in sectors whose relevance was elevated owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.  They also sold investments from sectors adversely affected by the lockdowns following the pandemic.

Another investigation by Business Insider's "Conflicted Congress" project revealed that "49 members of Congress and 182 senior congressional staffers violated laws aimed at preventing insider trading."

Nancy Pelosi, who stands to gain through her husband's investments obviously supported the idea of lawmakers trading in stocks.  She said, "We are a free market economy.  They should be able to participate in that."

The leader of the far-left congressional group known as "The Squad," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, rightly condemned the practice.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren suggested passing a law that would ban members of Congress from trading or owning stocks to "clean up the filth on the floor."

Pelosi ultimately acquiesced, in words, at least, following intense backlash from her colleagues, some sections of the media, and the general public.

Pelosi allowed bipartisan groups of lawmakers to draft bills and hold public hearings.  Lawmakers are currently deliberating on several congressional stock-trade bills.  No vote on any of the bills has yet to be scheduled.

The rules for regular citizens are very different.

The former top corporate attorney at Apple Inc pleaded guilty to insider trading charges for what prosecutors called a five-year scheme to trade ahead of the iPhone maker's quarterly earnings announcements.

A former corporate communications chief for a New Jersey biotechnology company pleaded guilty to illegal trading based on tips from the company's chief financial officer, who was her boyfriend at the time.

Both face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Recently, a former Netflix employee was sentenced to 14 months in prison and $10,000 in fines for insider trading.

We all know what happened to Martha Stewart when she was accused of charges related to insider trading in 2004.

Free-market principles in stock trading work only when everyone has identical access to information.

The lawmaker has access to information that the citizen doesn't, which obviously gives him an unfair advantage.  It therefore makes sense for all public servants to not to misuse their office to reap profits in the stock market.

For those lawmakers who complain that it is unfair to prevent them from stock trading when citizens are permitted to do so, well, this could be a case for term limits.  An elected official can serve his tenure of 12 years — two terms for senators and six terms for House members.  Following their public service, they are free to engage in the trading of stocks.

If profit is the sole motivation, they must work in the private sector, where they can invest in stocks without insider privileges and reap profits.

These rules must also apply to all government officials in Washington.

Last September, during her visit to the U.K., Nancy Pelosi said that in America, capitalism "has not served the economy as well as it should" because "the success of some springs from the exploitation of the workers and springs from the exploitation of the environment and the rest."

Pelosi was unknowingly describing her circumstances, where her husband could be exploiting his access to information to reap profits.  But the self-righteous seldom notice the irony.

Will the GOP, when they have control of the House and the Senate, pass laws that would ban members of the government, including lawmakers, from trading or owning stocks?

We know there are many GOP congressional members who also do this, as it is legal, and some may not be taking insider trading benefits.  But the ones who do often are loudly against these regulations.

We can live in hope.

Image: Peggy Marco, Pixabay, Pixabay License.

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