Nancy Pelosi is one of the richest members of Congress.
It’s now clear why.
And it’s all thanks to one massive scandal Pelosi was just caught in.
As Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi makes a little over $220,000 a year.
That’s a lot of money for most Americans, but it pales in comparison to Pelosi’s total net worth.
Pelosi is estimated to be worth over 46 million dollars, making her one of the richest members of Congress.
Which begs the question, how on earth did she make that much money earning only $220,000 a year?
The easiest answer is through the stock market.
Pelosi has incredible power as Speaker of the House to regulate companies all over America, as well as to grant government contracts to corporations through bills that pass the chamber she controls.
And what that means is Pelosi has the ability to know more or less what corporations will soon be falling out of favor with the government, and which ones will soon be earning new taxpayer funds in the form of contracts or other deals with Washington.
Once that knowledge is added with the fact that Pelosi’s husband runs an investment firm in San Francisco, it isn’t hard to see how she has amassed a mountain of wealth that dwarfs the average American’s savings.
But while Pelosi has earned a reputation for being a “genius stock picker”, that has also led to considerable controversy.
Pelosi is now under fire for the fact that she can use her position to buy and trade stocks on the open market, and make millions doing so thanks to her office.
The Hill reports, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing pushback from some members of her own party for defending the practice of members of Congress trading stocks while in office.”
“When asked about a Business Insider report finding that dozens of lawmakers and staff had violated a law to prevent insider trading, Pelosi last week said that they should all abide by disclosure laws but maintained: “We are a free-market economy. They should be able to participate in that,” adds The Hill.
Yet not everyone thinks this is right, including several of Pelosi’s own caucus members in Congress.
In response to Pelosi’s comments defending her trading of stocks as Speaker of the House, at least five House Democrats, including one of the wealthiest members of the Democratic Caucus as well as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, all spoke out against Pelosi’s stance on stock trading.
“Americans are losing trust in government and we need to show we serve the people, not our personal/political self-interest,” said Democrat Rep. Andy Kim, who is one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress today.
“There is no reason members of Congress should hold and trade individual stock when we write major policy and have access to sensitive information,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “There are many ways members can invest w/o creating actual or appeared conflict of interest, like thrift savings plans or index funds.”
The fact that Pelosi is facing backlash against her own fellow Democrats is illustrative of the severe lack of trust that leading politicians in Washington, D.C. face today.