AOC and others call for investigation into Robinhood’s GameStop freeze

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on Congress to investigate the Robinhood app after it banned small investors from buying stock in companies like GameStop. Over the last week, Reddit users have shorted the bemoaned video game retailer’s stock in what some are calling the “squeeze of a lifetime.”

In a Thursday tweet, Ocasio-Cortez called Robinhood’s decision to block retail investors from purchasing stock in companies like GameStop and Blackberry “unacceptable,” and that’d she’d “support a hearing if necessary.” Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction to oversee the stock market and “securities and exchanges” more broadly.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) retweeted her message, saying “Fully agree.”

The Verge contacted the House Financial Services Committee for comment on Thursday, but it didn’t immediately respond. When reached for comment, the Senate Finance Committee directed The Verge to the Senate Banking Committee. The Senate Banking Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other progressive Democrats have also made statements on the GameStop shorts, calling for further regulation of the financial industry. “It’s long past time for the SEC and other financial regulators to wake up and do their jobs — and with a new administration and Democrats running Congress, I intend to make sure they do,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said in a statement Wednesday.

Silicon Valley progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) put out a statement Thursday saying, “We’re done letting hedge fund billionaires treat the stock market like their personal playground, then taking their ball home as soon as they lose,” he continued. “We need more regulation and equality in the markets.”

Later on Thursday, Khanna retweeted Ocasio-Cortez, writing, “We need an investigation into RobinhoodApp’s decision and who influenced that. And this shows the need for a financial transaction tax on hedge fund shorting and SEC regulations on short selling practices.”

It’s unclear if Congress will move forward with an investigation into Robinhood or the GameStop situation at large. At a press conference Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “interesting, isn’t it?” when asked about the GameStop shorts, but did not forecast any actions Congress planned to take regarding the situation. The committees with jurisdiction have yet to make any major announcements either.

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