A Republican in the U.S. Senate wants to stop members of Congress and their spouses from trading stocks about which they have inside information. The title of the bill is a not-so-subtle jab at former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, introduced the PELOSI Act on Tuesday. Its full name is the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act. It says that members of Congress and their spouses must sell their assets or put them in a blind trust within six months of taking office.
“Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t use their jobs to make money on the stock market. That’s why I’m introducing a bill today to make it illegal for members of Congress to trade stocks or own stocks. It’s what I call the PELOSI Act “Tuesday, he wrote on Twitter.
Last year, it came out that Paul Pelosi, who is married to Nancy Pelosi, traded between $1 million and $5 million worth of stocks for semiconductors just days before Congress gave $52 million to the industry. This is what led to the bill. The stocks were later sold at a loss to make it look like nothing was wrong.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who sold investments after getting classified briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, is one example of a lawmaker and his or her spouse making a good trade.
Mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and purchases of Treasury bonds are not covered by Hawley’s bill.
Hawley’s bill would say that any money a lawmaker makes must be given back to the American taxpayers.
It also changes the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which says it’s against the law to use private information for private gain. This is called “insider trading,” and it’s already against the law for business leaders and regular Americans.
The bill currently says that the President of the United States, the Vice President, certain executive branch employees, the Postmaster General, some civilian employees, certain members of Congress, and judicial officers must file a report that includes the source, type, and value of any income they get from sources other than their current job.
This bill was changed in 2012 when Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, ID-CT, introduced the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” or “STOCK Act,” to help stop insider trading by members of Congress.
The bill, which was signed into law, says that lawmakers and employees can’t use information they learn during legislative meetings to make money on their own. The act also says that lawmakers are not exempt from securities laws that make it illegal to trade on inside information.
It says that members of Congress have 45 days to report any stock trades of $1,000 or more that they or their family members made.
Both Democrats and Republicans want to stop lawmakers from using their public jobs to make money for themselves. Hawley and others on both sides of the “aisle” have started making it illegal for lawmakers to do this.
This year, Hawley put forward a bill that would make it illegal for lawmakers to trade stocks while they are in office. Jon Ossoff, a Democrat from Georgia, and Mark Kelly, a Democrat from Arizona, both put forward similar bills.