When Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped into her weekly press conference one day in February, she found a room full of reporters dying to ask her the same question.
That morning, the Beltway tipsheet Punchbowl News had reported that Pelosi was expected to endorse some sort of ban on lawmakers’ ability to trade stocks while in office.
For months, a broad swath of lawmakers—Democrats and Republicans—had been pushing various proposals to reform congressional stock trading rules, in response to growing public outrage over a string of stories showing potential conflicts of interest in lawmakers’ trades.
That push had picked up serious momentum in the House and Senate. Pelosi, along with a number of other top lawmakers, didn’t exactly embrace it. But given the overwhelming public support for a ban on lawmaker stock trading, she likely knew she couldn’t entirely dismiss it, either.
So, when Pelosi left her press conference, she somewhat miraculously got the headlines she wanted: a number of news outlets reported that the speaker had “shifted her stance” on the issue, or that legislation was “moving.”