Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi defended her record on credit card reform after araised questions about lawmakers potentially executing financial transactions based on insider information.
There is no law prohibiting members of Congress from using non-public information to form their own investment strategies, but the "60 Minutes" questioned several lawmakers about transactions that may have had at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.
One of them was Rep. Pelosi, who participated in a 2008 IPO from Visa, just as legislation that would have hurt the credit card companies began moving through the House. Pelosi bought 5,000 shares of Visa at $44 and the stock price rose to $64 just two days later. The credit card legislation never made it to the House floor.Pelosi denied there was any conflict of interest when asked about the investment by "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft at a recent press conference. (See the exchange at left.)
Congresswoman Pelosi pointed out that the tough credit card legislation eventually passed, but it was two years later and was initiated in the Senate.
Following the report, Pelosi's office released a statement saying that "Congress has never done more for consumers nor has the Congress passed more critical reforms of the credit card industry than under the Speakership of Nancy Pelosi."
Spokesman Drew Hammill added in the statement that "it is very troubling that 60 Minutes would base their reporting off of an already-discredited conservative author who has made a career of out attacking Democrats."
The "60 Minutes" report used as its starting point Peter Schweizer's book on soft corruption .Schweizer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. But "60 Minutes" independently verified the information and also highlighted transactions of Republicans - Speaker of the House John Boehner and Rep. Spencer Bachus - both of whom deny using non-public information improperly.