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Democratic Leaders Love of Stocks

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The rich people who dominate the leadership of the Democratic Party are very, very, very unhappy at the movement from within the party to ban members of Congress from trading stocks.

Facing stiff political headwinds and a flagging election-year agenda, the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress have found a way to distance themselves from their leaders: demanding an end to stock trading for all members of Congress, including senior lawmakers who are clearly leery.

The growing list of Democrats who have signed on to ethics legislation that would ban ownership of individual stocks is remarkably bipartisan, speaking to the political power of the issue. On the Democratic side, the names parallel the party’s list of endangered incumbents, many of whom rushed to sign on after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California expressed her opposition in December.

“We introduced this in June 2020 and reintroduced it this Congress,” said Representative Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, a Democrat from a politically competitive district who wrote a stock ban with Representative Chip Roy of Texas, a conservative Republican. “We were steadily adding co-sponsors, but it is absolutely the case that the speaker’s answer to that question related to stock ownership and trading really ignited this as an issue.”

The legislation faces a climb on Capitol Hill, where the skepticism of top Democrats makes it unlikely to be considered. Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House majority leader, reiterated his opposition on Wednesday. Ms. Pelosi, after initially dismissing the effort, more recently said she would be open to it if proponents could muster the votes, even as she suggested she considered it a bad idea.

I generally find Spanberger extremely irritating, but Katie Porter is also on board with this effort, who I think is great. Now, you might see this as a stunt or whatever. But it is a good look for Democrats to say that we are out of the personal stock market game. It’s an actual way to separate yourself out from greedy Republicans. I generally think this is a very good idea. I also think that Pelosi, Schumer, Hoyer, and the other Democratic Party leaders are rich old people and they are determined to remain both rich and in power. Pushing them on this is a good thing.

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