GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) is pushing back against complaints about stock transactions involving microchip manufacturers that they say she made before she voted on a bill to help that industry.

Fox Business News and the conservative The Carolina Journal both reported that Manning, who represents the 6th Congressional District, had purchased shares in both Micron Technology and Nvidia, two U.S. chip manufacturers, on July 27, the day before she and voted for the bipartisan CHIPS Act to boost the industry.

Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) (Courtesy of US House of Representatives)
Rep. Kathy Manning (D-Greensboro) (Courtesy of US House of Representatives)

Manning’s staff says any stock purchases attributed to her were made on her behalf by a third-party broker that does not include guidance from her or her husband, developer Randall Kaplan. Her staff had stated that to Fox Business, and on Friday expanded on that with WGHP.

“All of Congresswoman Manning’s investments are in accounts entirely controlled and managed by third-party managers,” a statement from her staff provided to WGHP said. “These financial disclosures are currently up to date and accurate. 

“Congresswoman Manning and her husband have no discretion or control over the underlying assets held in the accounts. Neither Congresswoman Manning nor her husband exercised, or attempted to exercise, any control or direction over any transactions executed within the accounts.

“Congresswoman Manning supported the CHIPS Act because it will incentivize investments in semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, which will create good-paying jobs, strengthen our country’s competitive edge, and protect our national security.”

The STOCK Act in Congress stipulates that members of Congress must abide by laws governing insider trading and file reports with the congressional ethics office. There was no suggestion that Manning had not followed this requirement.

Christian Castelli (Campaign photo)

Manning, who was a civil rights lawyer, was elected in 2020, getting 62.3% of more than 400,000 votes cast in defeating Guilford County resident Lee Haywood, a veteran GOP worker. But her district has been targeted as a potential flip by the Republican National Committee because it was redrawn to include not just Guilford County and some of Winston-Salem but all of Rockingham County and nearly all of Caswell County, both far more Republican than areas that both Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden had carried easily. She was unopposed in the primary.

Her GOP opponent this time is a political newcomer, former Army officer and business owner Christian Castelli of Southern Pines. Libertarian Thomas Watercott also is in the race, which is rated as “Likely Democratic.”

Castelli shared the story about the stock transaction on his Twitter account, saying, “How brazen can you be? Politicians like Kathy Manning are enriching themselves at our expense. It’s flat out wrong. It’s time to send a Green Beret to clean up Washington!”

His office did not respond to a request for further comment.

Manning has been active in recent weeks as the House has pushed through various bills, some advanced by the Senate, that addressed the fall-out from the Supreme Court’s decision to upend abortion rights granted by Roe v. Wade. She was the principal sponsor of a bill the House adopted that would preserve access to contraception.