Last month, a 60 Minutes investigation revealed that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) made $30,000 trading on information that he received in private briefings during the financial crisis of 2008. This has led to a surge in interest in passing legislation that prevents members of Congress from trading on inside information. Today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) backed that effort:
Yes, I would like to see [a bill banning insider trading] come to the floor. I would hope that it’s not as necessary as the hoop-dee-doo over it makes it seem. But I do think that we all disclose what we do and that’s really important. And everything that we do is a matter of public record, so it’s in the public domain, so it’s not so insider, but to the extent that they — and I’ll be interested to see how the hearing comes up with it — but I’m sure they’ll come up with something that removes all doubt, that this is not something that is acceptable in Congress. And when they do, to me it seems like it would fly through Congress.
60 Minutes’ investigation unfortunately also tried to pin non-existent charges of insider trading on both Pelosi and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). So far, 131 members of the House have co-sponsored legislation to ban insider trading by members of Congress.