The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered its response to her husband, investor Paul Pelosi, buying as much as $5 million in a technology company poised to benefit if lawmakers pass a new subsidy package.
Paul Pelosi — who was arrested after alleged drunk driving earlier this year — exercised 200 call options to acquire 20,000 shares in Nvidia, a California company that produces semiconductors. First reported by The Daily Caller, a disclosure filed by Nancy Pelosi to the House of Representatives last week revealed the trade.
“The Speaker does not own any stocks,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill explained, according to Fox Business. “As you can see from the required disclosures, with which the Speaker fully cooperates, these transactions are marked ‘SP’ for Spouse. The Speaker has no prior knowledge or subsequent involvement in any transactions.”
The move comes as Congress begins debate on the $52 billion CHIPS for America Act, which is aimed at increasing semiconductor manufacturing capacity in the United States to address inflation and supply chain issues.
Hammill also commented that Pelosi mourns her colleagues’ lack of compliance with the STOCK Act — a law that requires top federal officials to disclose their asset transactions within a 45-day window.
“The Speaker believes that sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Hammill continued. “The Speaker has asked Committee on House Administration Chair Zoe Lofgren to examine the issue of Members’ unacceptable noncompliance with the reporting requirements in the STOCK Act, including the possibility of stiffening penalties.”
A report from The New York Times’ DealBook — based upon research conducted by Capitol Trades — revealed that asset purchases from members of Congress and their immediate families amounted to $267 million in 2021, while sales amounted to $364 million. Top officials working at the Federal Reserve have also faced criticism for purchasing individual stocks amid their work to chart the nation’s monetary policy.
“To be clear, insider trading is already a serious federal criminal and civil violation and the Speaker strongly supports robust enforcement of the relevant statutes by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission,” Hammill added. “The Speaker led the House in passing the bipartisan Courthouse Ethics and Transparency Act, which would subject federal judges to similar disclosure requirements as those in the STOCK Act. President Biden signed this bill into law in May.”
Voting to begin consideration on the CHIPS Act is slated to begin as soon as Tuesday. The United States represents 12% of global semiconductor manufacturing and 25% of global semiconductor demand, according to Radford University management professor Zachary Collier, with the majority of global production occurring in Asia.
Biden administration officials have pushed for the subsidy package as a solution to high inflation. According to the most recent Consumer Price Index (CPI) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, new and used vehicles are respectively 11.4% and 7.1% more expensive since June 2022 as automakers continue to battle low computer chip availability.
“I think you have to look at the unique situation that we’re in as an economy and think about how do we build more supply, how do we increase the productive capacity of our economy, so that we actually can supply more goods, bring prices down,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said on CNBC last week. “We know the answer on semiconductors exactly. We need more supply of those goods.”