Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Majority Leader, Friday over the failure to pass legislation banning members of Congress from trading stock.
“This moment marks a failure of House leadership — and it’s yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill, as I have long made known,” Spanberger said in a statement released Friday.
Spanberger introduced the Transparent Representation Upholding Service and Trust in Congress Act on Jan. 15, 2021.
The legislation has 71 co-sponsors, ranging from conservatives like Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida and Chip Roy of Texas, to liberals like Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego of Arizona and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
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“For months, momentum grew in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to finally take a step towards prohibiting Members of Congress from day trading while on the job. We saw remarkable progress towards rectifying glaring examples of conflicts of interest,” Spanberger said. “And after first signaling her opposition to these reforms, the Speaker purportedly reversed her position. However, our bipartisan reform coalition was then subjected to repeated delay tactics, hand-waving gestures, and blatant instances of Lucy pulling the football.”
“Rather than bring Members of Congress together who are passionate about this issue, leadership chose to ignore these voices, push them aside, and look for new ways they could string the media and the public along — and evade public criticism,” Spanberger continued. “As part of their diversionary tactics, the House Administration Committee was tasked with creating a new piece of legislation — and they ultimately introduced a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival, with only days remaining before the end of the legislative session and no time to fix it.”