Weigel

Democratic Rep. Wants to Prevent Members from Profiting Off Debt Default

So it’s come to this: A resolution, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., which would make it illegal for members to profit off a potential debt crisis. The rule change that’s asked for in HR 280:

A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not buy or sell any stock, bond, currency, commodity, or precious metal within seventy-two hours before or after a vote in the House to change the statutory limit on the public debt.

Is this a real problem? No, says McCollum’s spokeswoman Maria Reppas: “It’s just purely preventative.” But apparently there’s just enough paranoia about members of Congress loading up on gold before they vote against raising the debt ceiling. The only rationale I could think of for this was the negative attention Eric Cantor got last year for betting against government bonds, but Reppas says that had nothing to do with this.