Vulnerable Democrat Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) voted on legislation to provide billions in subsidies to boost chip manufacturing while holding up to $25 million of stocks in Nvidia Corporation, according to financial disclosures, a holding that has increased up to 400 percent since she first reported owning up to $5 million in the stock.
Of course, this comes after Luria said earlier in the year that the idea of banning stock trading among members of Congress was “bullshit” after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared to finally cave and voiced her public support for such a measure.
“So my thoughts on it, you know, I think this whole concept is bullshit. Because I think that, why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently bad or corrupt?” Luria wondered while speaking with PunchBowl’s Max Cohen in February. She added:
We already have the STOCK Act that requires people to report stock trades. Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that.
However, Luria’s financial disclosures revealed why the idea of preventing lawmakers from owning or trading sparks sparked ire. While Luria is apprehensive of such a measure, she also has millions of dollars on the line. All while she and her husband reportedly traded up to half a million dollars in stocks last year, and the two jointly own millions together, as Business Insider’s Bryan Metzger noted.
In March, CNBC reported that Luria was the biggest trader in Chinese stock among Democrats in Congress since January 2021. CNBC’s Ylan Mui noted:
Now she sold between $250 and $500 thousand dollars of Alibaba stock a year ago through a joint account. At the time, those shares were trading at about $227 dollars. They’ve fallen off since then and are now around about $105 bucks. We reached out to Representative Luria’s office for comment but have not heard back yet.
According to her 2021 financial disclosure, she and her husband Robert Blondin owned between $5 million – $25 million in Nvidia Corporation, which could be as much as a 400 percent increase in value compared to 2020 when they owned between $1 million to $5 million in the semiconductor company. The couple also had up to a $5 million stake in both Facebook and Netflix stock last year and up to $250,000 in Apple Inc.
This all comes to light as, on February 4, just days before calling the proposal to ban trading among members of Congress “bullshit,” Luria, her fellow Democrats, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) passed the America COMPETES Act (House Resolution 4521), which would shell out up to “$52 billion to boost semiconductor chip production” to companies such as Nvidia, “and another $45 billion to support supply chains,” as the Washinton Examiner noted.
Moreover, Fox News recently reported that Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, purchased between $1 million and $5 million in Nvidia shares ahead of another potential vote on the legislation. The House and Senate have differences in their respective legislations that must be resolved, but Congress is still looking to pass the bill and send it to Biden to be signed into law before the start of their August recess.
In February, the Heritage Foundation Action for America likened the $45 billion for the supply chain to a “slush fund.”
$320 billion of new spending with no offsets in spending—at a time when inflation is undercutting American families’ paychecks – including $50 billion in emergency appropriations for semiconductors and a $45 billion slush fund for politically connected interests, with no guardrails to prevent this money from flowing to China.
Moreover, the version of the bill that passed the House on February 4 would allocate $4 billion for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) both this year and next. The GCF was established by the United Nations “to limit or reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries.”
If the bill passes and is signed into law, lawmakers who hold stock directly related to the semiconductor industry, which is set to get $52 billion to boost chip production, will reap the rewards.
However, this would not be the first time that Luria was in a position to personally benefit from stock transactions. Breitbart News’s Ashley Oliver previously reported that Luria’s husband recently purchased shares from electric vehicle maker Tesla, Inc.
The stock transaction put the congresswoman in a position to personally benefit from President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion “American Jobs Plan,” which included $174 billion in electric vehicle incentives, a provision that would affect Tesla.
Like every lawmaker, the congresswoman must submit a periodic transaction report within 30 to 45 days of stock transactions over $1,000 made on their behalf or their spouses under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012.
However, a Breitbart News analysis of her filing showed that the stock holding for Nvidia only shows up on her yearly Financial Disclosure Report, meaning she has yet to buy any more of the stock since becoming a member of Congress. However, that fact appears to have not stopped her from voting on legislation that would help the stock grow.
The STOCK Act was a bipartisan bill that banned insider trading by members of Congress and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 4, 2012. The legislation received overwhelming support from both parties.
In 2011, Breitbart News senior contributor and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer rocked official Washington with his investigative revelations of insider trading by members of Congress. Left-leaning Slate hailed Schweizer’s blockbuster book on the topic, Throw Them All Out, “the book that started the STOCK Act stampede.”
One of the main figures featured in Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out was then-chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Spencer Bachus (R-AL), who announced he would not seek reelection after the book’s reporting.
Indeed, Bachus was the only elected official the late Andrew Breitbart ever called on to resign. CBS’s 60 Minutes did an investigative report on Schweizer’s revelations that won them the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based journalism.
Breitbart News has written about Spanberger’s congressional district in the past. Luria is a top target for Republicans, who are hoping to ride the wave created by newly minted Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) — the first Republican elected statewide since 2009.
As Breitbart News reported, Luria’s districts — as they exist until 2023 — were won by Youngkin by significant margins, but redistricting forced the district to see significant geographical changes from Virginia’s redistricting commission.
If Youngkin’s election is considered by the redrawn congressional districts — for which Second District candidates are running — he still won Luria’s district by 11 points, according to an analysis by the Virginia Public Access Project.
Nick Gilbertson is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.