Paul Pelosi purchased about $2.2 million worth of Tesla stock.
Earlier this month he invested $2.9 million across stocks of several companies.
Congress is debating whether to ban lawmakers and their spouses from trading stocks.
Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, purchased nearly $2.2 million worth of Tesla stock on March 17, according to a new congressional financial disclosure.
Pelosi’s husband, an investor and venture capitalist by trade, is an active stock investor personally. In January, Paul Pelosi invested $2.9 million worth of American Express, Apple, PayPal, and Walt Disney stocks. He’s made tens of millions of dollars in stock trades during the past few years, congressional records indicate.
Under current laws, members of Congress are required by law to disclose all individual stock trades and those of their immediate family members within 30- to 45-days of making a stock trade, depending on the trade.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told Insider earlier this month when asked about Paul Pelosi’s stock trades that “the speaker does not own any stocks.”
“The speaker has no prior knowledge or subsequent involvement in any transactions,” Hammill said in a statement.
Pelosi’s financial disclosure indicates that her husband purchased 2,500 shares of Tesla stock on March 17 — then worth nearly $2.2 million — by exercising call options at a strike price of $500 per share. The options were set to expire the next day, according to the disclosure.
Tesla stock traded near $1,000 per share on March 23.
Tesla, which manufactures electric vehicles and solar panels, spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to lobby the federal government, according to lobbying disclosures compiled by nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets. Tesla’s CEO is Elon Musk, the wealthiest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Pelosi’s husband’s stock transactions come at a time when Congress is currently debating on whether to ban members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks.
The topic gained renewed interest after Insider in December published its “Conflicted Congress” investigation, which found that 59 lawmakers and at least 182 senior-level congressional staffers violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012.
Pelosi came under intense criticism after she rejected the idea of barring members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks while in office following the investigation.
“We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” Pelosi said when asked by Insider at her weekly press conference.
But soon after, she reversed course, indicating she would be open to Congress considering legislation to prohibit members from trading stocks.
As for whether Congress should ban federal lawmakers’ spouses from trading stocks, Pelosi said in February: “It’s complicated, and members will figure it out. And then we’ll go forward with what the consensus is.”
Earlier this month, the Committee on House Administration was going to hold a hearing on this matter but it was postponed after its chairwoman, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, tested positive for COVID-19. A new date has still not been scheduled at this time.
Read the original article on Business Insider