(LibertySociety.com) – Republican infighting has made it into the headlines once again, with Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Senator Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., going tit for tat on X, formerly Twitter. Gaetz shared a post from Quiver Quantitative’s page that contained a graphic of Mullin’s net worth increase from 2018 to 2022, which was $12 million and $62 million, respectively.
Members of Congress earn $174,000 each year. Gaetz’s post simply called for members of Congress to be banned from trading stocks. Mullin’s stock trades have caught the attention of several accounts on X that actively monitor lawmakers’ trading activities.
Notably, Mullin used a joint account to purchase up to $50,000 in Raytheon Technologies stock on September 13. Raytheon is a defense manufacturing company that contracts with the federal government. Since the deadly Hamas terrorist attack against Israel on October 7, Raytheon’s stock has risen over six percent. Mullin responded to Gaetz’s criticism in an X post, appearing to defend his stock trades. He challenged Gaetz to build “a business that gains value,” claiming that “it’s more gratifying than living off your daddy’s money.”
Gaetz reiterated his intentions after Mullin’s post, pointing out that he was specifically addressing stock trades, adding that Mullin had made millions of dollars that way. Gaetz does come from a wealthy family but does not trade in the stock market or take corporate donations.
Members of Congress have been criticized for being allowed to trade stocks when they write laws that directly affect stock market prices for many different companies. The issue is bipartisan, with lawmakers such as Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, coming in at the top of the list in money made on trading stocks.
Other lawmakers besides Gaetz believe that stock trading should be banned. Senator Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has introduced legislation to ban the practice, but the majority of members refuse to entertain the idea. This is the second time Mullin has been in the headlines in the last two months. In November, he got into a heated exchange during a hearing with the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, challenging him to a fistfight.
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