"The idea that the Republican leader in the House opposed the ‘public option’ -- policy favored by the left of the left -- for personal profit is, frankly, stupid,” said the aide.
The Huffington Post's Ryan Grim adds the detail that the source "didn't want to be quoted criticizing CBS"—a nice testament to the Tiffany Network's street cred.
Either way, the gist of the Boehner defense is that his broker surmised and executed the trade without his input and the fact that he made several other investments around the same time that had nothing to do with the health care law's fate.
Others in the media have come to Boehner's defense, such as Grim, saying that even if the speaker was involved in the trades, he didn't have privileged information. "There's no reason to think that Boehner had any better insight into what was happening within the House Democratic caucus than anybody else reading news reports at the time," writes Grim.
Still, legislating is Boehner's job we're talking about. To suggest that a laymen reading The Washington Post is just as attuned with the movements of Congress as Boehner is somewhat of a stretch.
Nancy Pelosi Less afraid to criticize CBS on the record apparently, Pelosi's spokeswoman Drew Hammill had a statement with her name on it ready to go on Sunday night. The dirt on Pelosi is that she and her husband purchased 5,000 shares in Visa in 2008 while the House was contemplating financial reform legislation that would have hurt the bottom lines of credit card companies. As 60 Minutes pointed out, "The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House" after the investment was made. In response to the report, Hammill delivered this statement.
Tonight’s report. failed to note that the legislation in question in this story was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on October 3, 2008 – the day the House was consumed in passing TARP and also the last day the House was in session before the November election. It failed to note than in September 2008, the House passed the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights. In the next Congress, the House and Senate passed and President Obama signed the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights and the Dodd-Frank legislation, which included a stronger, more direct approach to addressing swipe fees.
It's a plausible defense but it basically amounts to: We were very busy the day the legislation was stalled and, by the way, I've been a strong advocate for consumers against credit card companies.
Spencer Bachus Interestingly, the lesser-known Republican Congressman and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee has been getting attacked the most since the report came out last night. He stands accused of benefiting from the global market meltdown in 2008, or as Schweizer says, making at least 40 option trades "between July 2008 and November 2008 — a period when markets were at their most volatile — netting as much as $50,000 by betting that the market would go up or down at crucial points in the crisis."