U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) reintroduced his 2022 insider trading bill Tuesday that would ban lawmakers and their spouses from holding and trading individual stocks and force political figures to return profits to American citizens under a new title dubbed the “PELOSI Act.”
The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act comes just over a year after Hawley introduced the original bill, in which he accuses politicians of somehow outperforming the stock market every year they hold office.
This time around, the senator’s updated version takes a jab at California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who many Republican lawmakers had slammed after her husband, Paul Pelosi, sold up to $5 million worth of shares in Nvidia, a California company that produces semiconductors, just before the House voted on a bill surrounding the domestic chip manufacturing industry.
“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 said in a news release.
In addition to prohibiting members of Congress from taking advantage of the market and wielding their power and privilege over American citizens, The PELOSI Act would also ban said politicians from holding diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or exempt U.S. Treasury bonds.
Six months upon assuming office, the bill would require new congressional members to divest or place prohibited holdings in a blind trust — to remain there while they are serving the American people.
Spouses of American politicians in Congress would also have to forfeit any investment profits back to the American people through the U.S. Treasury.
Violation of the Act could result in losing the ability to deduct the losses of those investments on their income taxes and other additional fines.
Earlier this month, Business Insider reported at least 78 congressional members, Democrats and Republicans alike, had violated a 2012 law known as the STOCK Act — Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act — which lawmakers designed to combat insider trading among lawmakers and force public servants to disclose their personal financial dealings, including any stock trade made by themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child.
Still, according to the report, lawmakers allegedly broke the law, citing ignorance, clerical issues, and accounting mistakes.
“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 said. “While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the act would require new members to divest holdings before assuming office. It requires divestment within six months of assuming office.