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Hawley Takes Swipe at Top Dem in Name of Bill That Would Ban Stock Trading Among Lawmakers

Al Drago/Pool via AP

Sen. Josh Hawley is looking to bar lawmakers and their spouses from owning or trading stocks while in office, reintroducing a bill—Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act—that takes a swipe at the former Democratic House Speaker. 


“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 of the PELOSI Act. "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.”

Last year, Pelosi came under fire for her husband's computer chip stock trades ahead of a House vote boosting the semiconductor industry. He then sold them at a substantial loss. Pelosi is far from alone, however, as Republican lawmakers have been accused of insider trading as well. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently ended its investigation into former Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) over his stock sales after receiving a classified briefing about the coronavirus pandemic. Equities markets tanked a week later. The SEC did not take action against him, however.

Under the PELOSI Act, lawmakers would have six months to “divest any prohibited holdings or place those holdings in a blind trust for the remainder of their tenure in office" and the Government Accountability Office would be tasked with conducting an audit of members’ compliance two years after implementation. 


Holdings in diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or U.S. Treasury bonds would be exempt. 

“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. 


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