WASHINGTON (WRIC) — Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) called for new House leadership Friday after legislation that would ban members of Congress from trading stocks was not put forward for a vote.
In a statement Friday, Spanberger criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House leadership over the handling of the legislation and the decision to scrap plans to hold a vote before the midterms.
Pelosi had said that a vote would come by the end of September. But that was before House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers would need more time to review a proposed ban and wouldn’t vote before going on recess.
“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 the statement. “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, a two-term congresswoman, opposed Pelosi for Speaker in 2018 and 2021.
The push to ban congressional stock trading, initially led by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Spanberger, has been gaining support in Congress. After first signaling opposition to the effort, Pelosi called on the House Administration Committee to draft a stock-trading ban bill.
The legislation put forward by the committee would ban members of Congress, their spouses, dependent children, senior staff members, Supreme Court justices and executive branch members from buying, selling and trading stocks, requiring them to instead use other investment methods.
Spanberger claimed in her statement that the bipartisan reform coalition pushing for the stock-trading ban dealt with “repeated delay tactics” and that the House Administration Committee “ultimately introduced a kitchen-sink package that they knew would immediately crash upon arrival” days before the end of the legislative session and changes could be made.
“It’s apparent that House leadership does not have its heart in this effort, because the package released earlier this week was designed to fail,” Spanberger’s statement continued. “It was written to create confusion surrounding reform efforts and complicate a straightforward reform priority — banning Members of Congress from buying and selling individual stocks — all while creating the appearance that House Leadership wanted to take action.”
Spanberger is seeking a third term in Congress, running against Republican challenger Yesli Vega in Virginia’s new 7th Congressional District.
Stay with 8News for updates.