Paul Pelosi, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, purchased between $1 million and $5 million of stock in a semiconductor company ahead of an upcoming vote on legislation containing $52 billion for chipmakers — the latest in a long history of similar purchases.
A Data for Progress poll found that 70% of respondents support a ban on lawmakers trading individual stocks and 68% agree with extending the ban to their spouses.
Pelosi’s husband made headlines when he purchased a substantial amount of tech stock last year under his wife’s speakership. Pelosi made millions on “timely” bets with Big Tech stock buys in advance of an antitrust bill that was moving through the House, according to a Fortune report from July 2021.
The antitrust legislation ultimately stalled, but Pelosi tech stock buys have continued throughout this year. In March, the speaker disclosed that her husband bought Apple as well as Disney and PayPal shares.
Retail traders track Pelosi’s trades to “find winners,” Yahoo reported.
Pelosi was involved in controversy regarding Visa stock purchases he made in 2008 while credit card companies were reportedly lobbying his wife to stop legislation that would curb credit card swipe fees to vendors, CBS News reported at the time.
“The Pelosis purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars,” the CBS report read. “Two days later it was trading at $64.”
CBS noted that the swipe fee legislation, the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights, eventually did pass the House.
“I will hold my record in terms of fighting the credit card companies as speaker of the House or as a member of Congress up against anyone,” Speaker Pelosi told “60 Minutes.”
There are several bills still pending in Congress that impose some form of a ban on lawmakers making individual stock purchases, but some would not cover spouses.
Peter Schweizer, author of the 2011 book “Throw Them All Out,” was instrumental in educating the public about the lack of stock trading laws applicable to members of Congress. After his book was published, Congress passed the STOCK Act, and former President Obama signed it into law. The bill is designed to prevent insider trading, but it doesn’t ban members of Congress or their spouses from buying individual stocks. Under the bill, lawmakers are required to file financial disclosure reports that show the purchases made.
Schweizer has long called on Congress to prohibit lawmakers and their spruces from trading individual stocks.
“They still sort of continue to blatantly trade in stocks,” Schweizer told Just the News in October 2021. “So in the case of the Pelosis, for example, she’s the Speaker of the House, legislation that’s going to affect Big Tech in a positive way or big contracts going to Big Tech, her husband’s not only buying and selling stock in Big Tech, he’s actually buying options, which are sort of leveraged bets that the stock is going to go one way or the other. And, of course, Paul Pelosi Sr. just happens to be really good at making those predictions.”
According to Pelosi’s most recent financial disclosure form, her husband bought between $1 million and $5 million worth of shares in Nvidia, a semiconductor company.
Pelosi was first elected to office in 1987. She’s currently serving her 18th term in the House. She has served as speaker from 2007 to 2011 and again from 2018 to the present.
Pelosi’s office has said she had “no prior knowledge” of her husband’s stock purchase.
“The speaker does not own any stocks,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill, 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 legislation with the funding for chipmakers is designed to shore up America’s semiconductor supply chain to better compete with China. The House passed its version of the America COMPETES Act earlier this year. The Senate passed their own version last June. A conference committee is preparing the final legislation, which could be voted on as early as this week.