Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02) criticized efforts to regulate congressional stock trading, which Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) is championing.
“So my thoughts on it, you know, I think this whole concept is bull***t. Because I think that, why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently bad or corrupt? We already have the STOCK Act that requires people to report stock trades. Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that,” Luria told Punchbowl News this week.
Both Spanberger and Luria are facing potentially serious challenges from Republicans in the 2022 elections. State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is running for the GOP nomination against Luria.
“Believing your constituents should unequivocally trust you, simply because you are their Member of Congress, is delusional. This is especially rich coming from Elaine Luria, who lied to her constituents about refusing campaign PAC donations, lied to her constituents about raising the minimum wage, and lied on ethics disclosure reports about her leadership position at a private school — despite publicly attacking school choice every chance she gets,” Kiggans said in a Facebook statement. ” Unlike our current Congresswoman, I fully support the stock trading ban for Members of Congress and promise to continue my outstanding record of service. ”
Multiple legislators from both parties traded stocks in 2020, just before the market crashed due to COVID-19. That triggered a closer look at congressional trading from nonprofit watchdogs, and in June 2020, Spanberger and Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) introduced HR 7200, the TRUST in Congress Act, which failed to gain much traction until recently. The STOCK Act requires disclosures of trades, but the Campaign Legal Center alleges that legislators, including Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), may have failed to comply with the requirements.
Roy and Spanberger say disclosure isn’t enough, and that legislators’ investments need to be in blind trust or index funds, NPR reported.
“It eludes me as a possibility that someone would say to the American people, ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, my spouse makes all his own decisions.’ Just because I’m in COVID briefings — ignore the fact that when a pandemic started, he’s buying stocks and insert pharmaceutical company name, right? People are gonna say, ‘You’re insulting my intelligence,’ right? It’s bad if you do it, it’s bad if they do it,” Spanberger said to NPR.
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