On Tuesday, Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation that would forbid members of Congress, and their family members, from trading individual stocks.
The proposal would require Congress members and their immediate families to move any stocks they own into qualified blind trusts. If they fail to do so, they’d lose their stocks to the U.S. treasury.
Hawley hilariously coined the proposal to be the “Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments,” in other words the (PELOSI) Act.
The proposal comes after Pelosi and her husband Paul, traded stocks worth millions prior to Congress passing a subsidy package in 2022.
“For too long, politicians in Washington have taken advantage of the economic system they write the rules for, turning profits for themselves at the expense of the American people,” Hawley explained. “As members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again.”
The bill, if passed, would mandate new members of Congress to divest or place prohibited holdings in a blind trust within six months of taking office and maintain that position while serving the public. Spouses of these politicians would also be required to return any investment profits to the government via the U.S. Treasury.
“As members of Congress, both Senators and Representatives are tasked with providing oversight of the same companies they invest in, yet they continually buy and sell stocks, outperforming the market time and again,” Hawley went on to say. “While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price.”
Nancy Pelosi, who is reportedly one of the wealthiest members of Congress and former Speaker of the House, has not surprisingly been known to oppose bans that prevent Congress members from insider trading.
The Democrats delayed the vote on the package and it did not pass. Kevin McCarthy, who was the House Minority Leader at the time, promised that the Republican Party would prioritize the issue in the 118th Congress.
Recently, Business Insider reported that at least 78 members of Congress, had breached the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012. This law was established to prevent insider trading among lawmakers and to obligate public officials to reveal their personal financial dealings, including any stock trades made by them, their spouse, or dependent children.
According to the report, lawmakers who allegedly broke the law ridiculously cited reasons such as: lack of knowledge, administrative errors, and accounting mistakes.
Hawley has accused members of Congress of insider trading.
According to the analysis site Unusual Whales, 27 members of Congress’s stock portfolios performed better than the market in 2022. Despite the S&P 500 ending the year down 18%.