Skip to content

Senator Josh Hawley introduces ‘the PELOSI Act’ to prevent insider trading

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has proposed the “PELOSI Act,” which would prohibit politicians and their wives from owning and trading stocks while they are in office.

The “Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act” is a law that makes fun of its namesake, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

“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. 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,” Senator Hawley said in a statement published on his official website.

He continued:

“…While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price. The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”

According to the same statement, the PELOSI act will “prohibit members of Congress and their spouses from holding, acquiring, or selling stocks or equivalent economic interests during their tenure in elected office. Any holdings in diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or U.S. Treasury bonds are exempt from the prohibition.”

The act would also “give members of Congress and their spouses six months, upon assuming office, to divest any prohibited holdings or place those holdings in a blind trust for the remainder of their tenure in office.”

The statement continues to say that the act is intended to “ensure members or their spouses forfeit any investment profits to the American people via the U.S. Treasury if they are found to be in violation of the Act. Members who violate the requirements will also lose the ability to deduct the losses of those investments on their income taxes. The ethics committees of Congress may levy additional fines and will publicize violations.”

Also, the Bill will establish a requirement indicating that “after two years of its implementation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will conduct an audit of members’ compliance with the Act.”

Pelosi is the spouse of Paul Pelosi, an 82-year-old venture investor located in San Francisco who is estimated to have a net worth of more than $120 million as a result of his investments in technology stocks.

Pelosi and her husband’s stock portfolio’s value increased by as much as $30 million between 2007 and 2020.

According to publicly available disclosure forms, the couple amassed millions of dollars through the ownership of shares in digital giants including Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft.

Bipartisan efforts to prohibit lawmakers from trading in stocks were sparked by the stock bonanza of the Pelosis because it was seen as a conflict of interest given their positions in overseeing the relevant businesses.

Pelosi was one of the few well-known parliamentarians to experience stock market losses last year, as shares of internet giants shed a large portion of their gains from the epidemic period.

The congresswoman made it clear she wouldn’t back legislation that would have prohibited lawmakers from trading equities during the majority of her 20 years in office.

Pelosi was forced to compromise after receiving harsh criticism and declare her support for reforming the system.

The Democratic-led Congress seemed prepared to vote on the topic, but just before the midterm elections, the issue was tabled.

Independent Writer. Marketing and communications strategist for politicians, artists, public figures & corporate brands for more than 10 years. Contact: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)
Escritor independiente. Consultor en marketing y comunicaciones de políticos, artistas, figuras públicas y marcas por más de 10 años. Contacto: @alejandrosbasso (Twitter)