Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm admitted this week that she furnished false testimony before Congress related to the ownership of stocks. On Friday, Granholm stated that she retained stocks she claimed did not conflict with her current role.
The Energy Secretary claimed that she “divested my remaining stock holdings which consisted of stock in six companies” in May. She claimed that government ethics officials said that the remaining stocks did not “conflict with my official duties.”
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) criticized the former Michigan governor, describing her actions as “brazen.”
It is time to BAN all senior executive branch officials and all members of Congress from owning & trading stock
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) June 9, 2023
He wrote that “Granholm lied to me” in the April hearing, and it took the Biden White House six “full weeks to admit it.”
Hawley then called for a ban on “all senior executive branch officials and all members of Congress from owning & trading stock.”
The senator then cited a recent Wall Street Journal article that showed one-third of senior staff at the Energy Department or their families owned stock in companies “related to the agency’s work.”
Hawley separately introduced a bill to ban members of the executive branch and their spouses from owning stocks. Hawley’s proposal, the Eliminating Executive Branch Insider Trading Act, was announced in March.
“Senior members of the Executive Branch, who have access to privileged information, shouldn’t be using it to get rich,” he said at the time.
Hawley separately called for Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act in January.
The senator said that “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.”
He said that “we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”
The proposed PELOSI Act would bar senators and representatives or their spouses from buying stocks “or equivalent economic interests” during their time in office, though they would be allowed to purchase ETFs, diversified mutual funds or U.S. Treasury bonds.
Should the bill pass, members of Congress and their spouses must give up their holdings “or place those holdings in a blind trust for the remainder of their tenure in office.”
Should a member of Congress break the act, they would be required to turn over the profits to the Treasury.