Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has introduced a bill that would ban members of Congress and their relatives from trading individual stocks. The legislation, which Hawley coined as “Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments,” would require elected officials and their immediate families to move their stocks into a qualified blind trust.
According to reports, the bill, if passed, would require newly elected members of Congress to divest or place their stocks in a blind trust within six months of taking office.
Hawley, in a statement, revealed that Senators and Representatives continually trade stocks in companies they are supposed to provide oversight on. He also accused politicians of taking advantage of the economic system — whose rule they created — to make profits for themselves at the expense of the American people.
Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market – today l’m introducing legislation to BAN stock trading & ownership by members of Congress. I call it the PELOSI Act pic.twitter.com/aIXNwSnTvW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 24, 2023
“While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hard-working Americans pay the price,” Hawley said.
Hawley’s proposal would effectively prevent insider training and conflicts of interest among members of Congress and politicians in general.
The Business Insider and several news organizations identified at least 78 members of Congress who failed to properly report their financial trades according to the requirement of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as the STOCK Act.
Pelosi selling off millions in Google stock weeks before the DOJ filed a lawsuit against them tells you exactly how she became worth $200+ million on a government salary.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) January 25, 2023
Former President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act in 2012 after Congress passed the law to curtail insider trading among its members. The law defines how members of Congress can invest their money and makes financial disclosure mandatory for Senators and Representatives.
However, reports suggest many lawmakers have not been adhering strictly to the demands of the law. Lawmakers who violate this law are required to pay a $200 standard fine. The lawmakers usually claim they were unaware or that they violated the rule due to administrative errors and accounting mistakes.
Yesterday, the US government filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google.
One month ago, Nancy Pelosi sold $3 million in $GOOGL stock. pic.twitter.com/QZg3wUf23M
— Watcher.Guru (@WatcherGuru) January 25, 2023
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who Hawley named the bill after, and her husband reportedly traded millions of dollars worth of stocks just before Congress passed a subsidy package last year.