Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib has issued a public call for a hearing into the recent actions of brokerage app Robinhood related to the stock of GameStop, the price of which hit eye-popping levels this week.
Tlaib's comments came in response to an article from VICE's Motherboard about Robinhood's move to restrict buy orders for stocks like GameStop and others that have been the subject of Reddit-based trader activity in recent days.
"This is beyond absurd. @FSCDems need to have a hearing on Robinhood's market manipulation. They're blocking the ability to trade to protect Wall St. hedge funds, stealing millions of dollars from their users to protect people who've used the stock market as a casino for decades," Tlaib wrote.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez issued a similar call on Thursday.
"As a member of the Financial Services Cmte, I’d support a hearing if necessary," she wrote. Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted support for Ocasio-Cortez's statement shortly after.
"We continuously monitor the markets and make changes where necessary. In light of recent volatility, we are restricting transactions for certain securities to position closing only, including $AAL, $AMC, $BB, $BBY, $CTRM, $EXPR, $GME, $KOSS, $NAKD, $NOK, $SNDL, $TR, and $TRVG. We also raised margin requirements for certain securities," Robinhood said in its Thursday blog post.
On Wednesday, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki said that officials were "monitoring the situation."
Robhinhood and other trading platforms have drawn intense criticism because of actions perceived to be intended to stifle retail trading activity to the benefit of institutional forces -- namely those who were negatively impacted by this week's GameStop stock move.
That stock was heavily shorted prior to the price jump, and one short-selling firm received a $2.8 billion-dollar bailout in light of related losses. Accusations of manipulation and market suppression were enhanced in the past day after the heart of the Reddit community's trading actions, r/WallStreetBets, was temporarily suspended and a related Discord server was taken offline.
GameStop's stock, which hit a high of $438 on Thursday, is currently trading at roughly $190.