Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm broke the STOCK Act — a law that requires top federal officials to disclose their asset transactions within a 45-day window — nine times last year.
The dates of Granholm’s stock sales ranged from April to late October, according to federal disclosure documents first reported by Business Insider. But Granholm did not disclose any of them until mid-December, which was in some cases a full 6 months after the deadline to report the sale had passed…
The transactions included shares of the real estate website Redfin worth between $16,000 – $75,000, according to Granholm’s disclosures.
She also sold shares in the ride hailing company Uber worth up to $50,000, and the financial services giant Invesco, also worth up to $50,000.
The report occurs as Congress debates new restrictions on stock trading — especially for shares in individual companies, as opposed to index funds that track market movements as a whole.
At the end of last year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — whose husband, Paul, frequently trades large volumes of assets — avoided questions as to why lawmakers should be allowed to trade stocks in individual companies given lawmakers’ high degree of restricted knowledge relevant to certain industries. “Because this is a free market and people — we are a free market economy,” Pelosi said during a news conference. “They should be able to participate in that.”
On Thursday, however, Pelosi appeared to change her tune. She said that she has “great confidence in the integrity of my members” — yet will remain open to new regulations.
“I do come down always in favor of trusting our members,” she explained. “If the impression that is given by some that somebody is doing insider trading, that’s a Justice Department issue … and that has no place in any of this.”
“But to give a blanket attitude of ‘we can’t do this and we can’t do that,’ because we can’t be trusted, I just don’t buy into that,” she continued. “But if members want to do that, I’m okay with that.”
President Biden appears to be dodging the debate altogether. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden will allow members of Congress to determine their own rules for stock trading.
“The president didn’t trade individual stocks when he was a senator, that is how we approached things,” Psaki remarked. “He also believes that everyone should be held to the highest standard, but he’ll let the leadership in Congress … determine what the rule should be.”
The most recent considerations come from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who reportedly wants to start a potential “outright ban,” on lawmakers holding or trading stocks if Republicans win the majority in this year’s midterm elections.
“McCarthy told us his planning on this front is in its early stages, and he hasn’t yet decided on what kind of limitations there may be on stock trades or holdings,” Punchbowl News reported. “One idea would be to force lawmakers to hold only professionally managed mutual funds. Another proposal the GOP leadership is considering would bar lawmakers from holding stocks in companies or industries their committees oversee.”