Kelly Loeffler, the Senator from Georgia and former chief executive of institutional investment company Bakkt, has gotten her first major government appointment.
Earlier this week, the Republican Senator announced on Twitter that President Donald Trump had appointed her to the committee that will oversee the country’s re-opening amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With 22 million Americans filing for unemployment, it’s clear we must start working to revive our economy and get the American people back to work safely.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) April 16, 2020
Administration Moves to Reopen America Despite Warnings
The mission to reopen the United States is one that President Trump has been a++ for a couple of weeks now. The country shut its borders due to the coronavirus pandemic a little over a month ago, and with the economy in a seeming standstill, the President has expressed his desire to get the economy working again.
Despite the objections of several authorities and government agencies, the administration seems ready to move forward with the plan. In line with that, the White House has been publishing some names on the committee to reopen the country earlier this week.
As Axios reported earlier today, the administration has published a list of over 200 members, which included CEOs, venture capitalists, and other career business people. Apart from that list, however, the administration also invited several Congress members to join the Opening Up America Again Congressional Group.
The committee will be bipartisan. Along with Loeffler, some names on the list include Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Min.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), and more.
All Senate Republicans have been called, with the lone exception of Mitt Romney (Utah), who had voted for the President’s impeachment earlier this year.
Loeffler is Moving Beyond Her Coronavirus Controversy
Loeffler’s nomination came on the heels of controversy over some of her financial decisions made amid the pandemic. Last month, the Senator came under fire after the Daily Beast reported that she and her husband – Jeffrey C. Sprecher, the chief executive of Bakkt’s parent company, the Intercontinental Exchange – had used privileged information to make trades.
As the news source explained at the time, the couple had liquidated over 27 stocks on the same day that Loeffler had attended a Senate Health Committee on the coronavirus. They went on to purchase significant stocks in other firms as well.
Given the circumstances, timing, and the performances of several of these companies in the coming weeks, many had cause to believe that Loeffler had used the information she got from the meeting to get out of companies she perceived as weak and invest in firms that would benefit from the stay-at-home order.
She denied the allegations at the time, explaining that she doesn’t have any control over the day-to-day activities of her investment portfolio and adding that a third-party advisor usually handles her investments. The excuse didn’t pass, and the backlash kept coming.
She eventually announced earlier this month that she would be liquidating all her investment positions in a bid to “move beyond the distraction.” She added that going forward, all her investments will be in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).