Republican Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida is doing something that many people thought he might never do – come to an agreement with progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York.
Earlier this week, Gaetz defended himself and the bill that he’s putting forth with AOC that would restrict all Congress members from trading individual stocks. Called the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act, the bill would not only block Congress members but also their spouses and dependents from trading individual stocks.
Gaetz told Fox News this week that while he very often disagrees with what AOC does in Congress and says in general, she’s “not corrupt.” As he said:
“AOC is wrong a lot – she would probably say the same thing about me – but she’s not corrupt.”
He also added that he’d “work with anyone and everyone to ensure that Congress is not so compromised.”
In explaining the bill, Gaetz said that the federal government “should disallow congressional stock trading for the same reason we don’t allow the referee to bet on the game … $788 million worth of securities [were] traded by members of Congress last year [alone].”
In a statement that accompanied the unveiling of the bill, Gaetz said:
“Members of Congress are spending their time trading futures instead of securing the future of our fellow Americans. Congress will never regain the trust of the American people. Our responsibility in Congress is to serve the people, not hedge bets on the stock market.”
During his appearance with host Jesse Watters on Fox News, Gaetz was asked if he negotiated the bill’s details with AOC. He confirmed that he did and that they both wanted to ensure “that members of Congress couldn’t just have a veneer to have a family member trading the stock for them.”
And then he added a direct attack on former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when he said:
“So, perhaps it’s the ‘Pelosi Provision’ of our legislation that does not allow spouses to do these trades on behalf of their family members.”
On multiple occasions as House Speaker, Pelosi opposed any call for Congress members to be barred from trading individual companies on the stock market. In 2021, for instance, she said:
“We are a free market economy. They should be able to participate in that.”
Of course, when she was saying “they,” she was really referring to herself and her husband Paul, who is a prolific stock trader. OpenSecrets, a non-profit organization, estimated back in 2018 that the Pelosis’ net worth was almost $115 million.
Much of that wealth is attributed to major stock trades that Paul has executed. In the last two years, the Pelosis have come under attack for some oddly-timed trades that Paul executed – seemingly using inside information from his wife to make smart trades.
Nancy Pelosi said multiple times that her husband conducted all stock trades without her knowledge, and that the two never discussed work. That’s pretty hard to believe, though.