AOC Goes Rogue, Teaming Up With With MAGA Enemy Matt Gaetz on Stock Bill

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
May 3, 2023

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) bucked Democratic leadership this week, partnering with Republican Matt Gaetz (Fla.) to introduce legislation that would bar members of Congress from trading stocks.

"AOC is wrong a lot, she'd probably say the same thing about me, but she's not corrupt," Gaetz said Tuesday night, after the two unlikely collaborators joined forces on the bill. "And I will work with anyone and everyone to ensure that Congress is not so compromised."

The bill, H.R. 3003, would ban members, their spouses, and other dependents from owning or trading stocks. Members of Congress traded $788 million worth of securities in the last year alone, Gaetz said.

The move represents an act of defiance from Ocasio-Cortez against House Democratic leadership. Ocasio-Cortez has sparred on the issue of stock trading with former speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), who initially opposed a ban on members and their families from trading. Pelosi eventually said she would support such a bill, but critics accused her and Democratic leadership of sabotaging the effort by introducing a bill last year that was doomed to fail.

The bill is also sponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R., Pa.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D., Ill.)

Pelosi has received criticism on both sides of the aisle for her husband's stock trading moves while she's been in office. Earlier this year, her husband sold up to $3 million in Google stocks just before the Department of Justice launched an antitrust probe of the company. In 2022, she oversaw the passing of a bill that aided a tech company her husband had recently bought stock from. 

The unlikely alliance between Ocasio-Cortez and Gaetz follows sporadic hostilities between the two. The "Squad" member once called Gaetz a "bad haircut in a cheap suit."

Ocasio-Cortez defied Pelosi this week when she called for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.), who is 89 years old and has been away from Congress for weeks with shingles, to resign. Her absence "is causing great harm," Ocasio-Cortez said, saying Feinstein’s absence on the Judiciary Committee is stalling President Joe Biden's judicial nominees. 

Pelosi has been an ardent defender of Feinstein against calls for her to step down. Last month she said calls for Feinstein to resign are sexist. Feinstein on Monday said she is "hopeful" to return to her job next week.