Delaware senator's wife buys Intel stock ahead of Biden's executive order on chip shortage

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The wife of Democratic Delaware Sen. Tom Carper purchased shares of semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp. just days before President Biden issued an executive order aimed at addressing the global chip shortage.

Martha Ann Stacey Carper on Feb. 16 bought up to $15,000 of Intel Corp. stock, according to a financial disclosure form filed by her husband. Eight days later, Biden signed an executive order calling for a 100-day review that will allow for quick implementation of policy recommendations to strengthen supply chains for chips and other key products.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
INTCINTEL CORP.58.33-1.57-2.62%
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“The Carpers have always been careful to ensure that their financial investments are handled separately by a financial advisor who makes decisions and transactions independently,” a Carper spokeswoman told FOX Business. “He was a strong supporter of the STOCK Act and has made an extra effort to report all transactions in real time.”

Martha Ann Stacey Carper, a former Dow executive, did not break any laws by purchasing Intel shares, as spouses of members of Congress are allowed to own shares of companies in industries of which their significant others may help regulate. The STOCK Act says neither members of Congress nor their spouses are allowed to purchase stock on nonpublic information.


Intel shares had rallied 20% this year through Wednesday as the work-from-home environment created by COVID-19 fueled record sales in fiscal year 2020. However, Martha Ann Stacey Carper was likely down about 3% on her investment as technology shares, including Intel, have come under pressure following a spike in bond yields.

If Sen. Carper knew that Biden would sign the executive order, then Martha Ann Stacey Carper’s share purchases were “certainly unethical,” said Hank Sheinkopf, president of the New York-based strategic communications firm Sheinkopf Communications Ltd.

He added that while a causal relationship may not exist, it “doesn't look good” that Carper represents Delaware, Biden’s home state.

Taking action to combat a global shortage of semiconductor chips has become a pressing issue on Capitol Hill this year as manufacturers of automobiles, smartphones and other products have warned of supply chain problems.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham in July introduced the Restoring Critical Supply Chains and Intellectual Property Act, which seeks to give tax credits and incentives to support the production of semiconductors and other products.

That bill came a month after Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced the CHIPS for America Act, which establishes investments and incentives to support U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, research and development, and supply chain security.

Carper did not cosponsor either bill.

A number of members of Congress have recently come under scrutiny for their investment decisions or the investment decisions of spouses.

Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky, last month purchased shares in four cannabis producers while at the same time supporting decriminalization of the drug.


In December, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, bought up to $1 million worth of call options in the electric-vehicle maker Tesla ahead of Biden’s inauguration. The president is expected to provide incentives to purchase more environmentally-friendly electric vehicles.

The Department of Justice last year opened investigations into Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., who themselves or their spouses sold investments right before the S&P 500 plunged 34% in February and March amid concerns over the economic impact of COVID-19.

Those investigations were later dropped.

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