It’s not often that you see quick action on an issue, especially on one that has festered a long while. You may recall that a month ago I wrote about a policy pet peeve of mine — the permissibility of individual stock trading by members of Congress. I tweet about it frequently and support and amplify others who express outrage at the practice, given the ability of members to move markets and come into nonpublic information on a regular basis. I myself stopped owning or trading individual stocks long ago because I thought it was incompatible with clean public service.
At the start of the year, there was increased speculation about movement on the issue. Actual bills were introduced or reintroduced, notably one authored by Senator Jon Ossoff that I mentioned. Representative Abigail Spanberger also has one. Now Senator Elizabeth Warren does too.
But the outlook was not bright, in particular because of the outright opposition of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose stance I criticized. But in just under four weeks, her position has shifted materially. At first, at the start of this year, Pelosi was openly hostile to the idea of a stock trading ban, saying, “We are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.”