Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today led a group of House Republicans in sending a letter to the outgoing Majority expressing concerns over their reported proposal to make STOCK Act reforms, despite no meaningful attempt to engage with Republicans on a bipartisan solution. As reported, the Democrats' messaging bill won't alleviate current conflicts of interest issues and only comes after Speaker Pelosi and her husband's questionable stock trades have been the center of much scrutiny.
The letter was signed by: Reps. Rodney Davis (IL-13), Bryan Steil (WI-01), Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), Darrell Issa (CA-50), Rob Wittman (VA-01), William Timmons (SC-04), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Andrew R. Garbarino (NY-02), David P. Joyce (OH-14), Mike Bost (IL-12), Ron Estes (KS-04), Troy Balderson (OH-12), Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-26), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Adrian Smith (NE-03)
Full text of the letter can be found here or below.
"As the House considers updating the STOCK Act's conflicts of interest provisions, it is disappointing that this process has been happening in a highly partisan manner with no meaningful attempt to engage with House Republicans.
"Each Member of Congress has a unique financial situation, which is why it is important to include a diverse set of perspectives when crafting legislation that will impact both current and future Members. We would've welcomed a thoughtful, bipartisan approach to identify potential solutions that address the heart of the issue: increasing transparency and restoring the American People's trust in this institution.
"Unfortunately, the outgoing Majority's current proposal is more focused on scoring cheap political points rather than passing sound policy. In fact, banning stock ownership completely or requiring the use of qualified blind trusts will do little to nothing to alleviate current conflict of interest concerns. Even Speaker Pelosi's own Members, including yourself, warned at a recent hearing that qualified blind trusts were "panned by everybody in the room'--Republicans and Democrats--and called such proposals "unworkable.'
"It is evident that Speaker Pelosi has no interest in truly resolving the American People's concerns about Congress' conflict of interest rules. Out of any Member of Congress, the Speaker and her husband, Paul, draw the most media attention with their particularly well-timed market activity. The Speaker, who has control over the floor and the most knowledge on the timing of legislation, is positioning herself as the white-hat reformer on her way out of power. With such unclean hands, Speaker Pelosi cannot be allowed to once again make "rules for thee, not for me" that come into effect--not for her but for others after her power over the House fades.
"It is the goal of House Republicans to ensure accountability for all Members and to combat potential financial conflict of interest issues. Yet, the House cannot dive headfirst into a band-aid solution that still leaves Congress vulnerable to financial disclosure and transparency issues."