President Joe Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure plan includes a provision to boost electric vehicle use—which House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) stands to personally benefit from.
Pelosi's husband Paul purchased between $500,000 and $1 million in Tesla investments in December. Biden's infrastructure plan will lead to a windfall for Tesla and its shareholders. On Wednesday, Biden unveiled his sweeping plan, which sets aside $174 billion for electric vehicle subsidies, charging stations, and other provisions designed to push more Americans into electric cars over a decade.
Democrats are anticipating a contentious and lengthy battle over the infrastructure package. With a narrow Democratic majority and no support from Republicans, Pelosi will need to marshal every vote she can to get the bill passed. It will fall on the speaker to unify progressives who worry the bill is inadequate and with moderate Democrats who worry the bill's tax hikes could imperil their reelection chances.
Pelosi is one of the richest members of Congress, with a net worth valued around $115 million. Congressional spouses can legally invest in companies their spouses help regulate, as long as they don’t act on private information. Her husband's Tesla investments include 25 call options at a strike price of $500 until March 2022. Call options are contracts that give the investor the right to buy shares of a company at a certain price—in this case $500—until the contract expires.
Tesla is now positioned to see a sizable boost under Biden's proposed infrastructure plan. Barron's says Tesla could be one of the big winners from Biden's infrastructure plan. Wall Street expects Tesla deliveries to rise 60 percent year over year in 2021, according to the publication.
Republicans say the timing of Paul Pelosi's investments is suspect. "There's a reason Nancy Pelosi is one of the most disliked politicians in America—she's corrupt," said Torunn Sinclair, national press secretary for the National Republican Congressional Committee. "This is yet another example of Nancy Pelosi using her power to tax the middle class and personally profit from it."
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the GOP will oppose Biden's infrastructure plan. "I'm going to fight [the Democrats] every step of the way, because I think this is the wrong prescription for America," McConnell said. If Democrats do not gain the support of 10 Republican senators, they will have to use budget reconciliation to pass the bill on their own.
The left wing of the Democratic Party doesn't think Biden's plan goes far enough. Progressive lawmakers and environmental activists pushed Biden to include a $10 trillion climate package within the plan.
Pelosi's office did not respond to a request for comment.