The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act is a piece of legislation that makes reference to Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the former House Speaker, who came under fire last year after Paul Pelosi, her husband, purchased up to $5 million in worth of stock in a semiconductor firm just as the Senate was passing bills to heavily subsidize the semiconductor industry.
Pelosi also participated in a group of Democrats and Republicans who invested hundreds of millions of dollars in stock trades in 2021 and outperformed the market. Representatives Brian Mast (R-FL), Austin Scott (R-GA), John Curtis (R-UT), French Hill (R-AR), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), are among other Republicans who did well.
Hawley said the practice needs to stop and that he sponsored legislation to that effect last year.
Hawley said in a statement that “politicians in Washington have exploited the economic system they make the rules for far too long, generating profits for themselves at the cost of the American people.”
He continued, “Yet they continuously purchase and sell stocks, while outperforming the stock market time and time again, despite the fact that as members of Congress are responsible for providing oversight of the same firms they trade-in.”
Members of Congress as well as their spouses would not be permitted to hold, acquire, or sell equities while in office under Hawley’s PELOSI Act. According to the law, members and their spouses have six months from the time they take office to sell any stocks they own or transfer them to a blind trust.
Members of Congress would be required to relinquish any profits to the US Treasury if they or their spouses were found to be in breach of the laws. Additionally, violators wouldn’t be able to write off such losses when filing their taxes.
According to the proposed law, the House and Senate ethics committees would have the authority to fine members of Congress for such offenses and be obligated to make those fines public to the American people. The Govt. Accountability Office (GAO) would be mandated by the law to audit members of Congress to make sure they are abiding by the regulations.
“Hardworking Americans pay the price while Wall Street and Big Tech collude with government politicians to profit themselves,” according to Hawley. “The answer is simple: we must immediately and indefinitely outlaw stock trading by all members of Congress.”
The majority of potential American voters strongly support prohibiting members of Congress and their families from trading stocks.
According to a Trafalgar Group survey conducted last year, 76 percent of respondents think Congress has an “unfair edge” in the stock market. Only 5% are in favor of allowing congressional stock trading.