Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market, according to Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri. On Tuesday Jan. 25, Hawley tweeted that he is introducing legislation to ban stock trading and stock ownership by members of Congress. He’s calling it the Pelosi Act.
Members of Congress found in violation will have to return their profits to American taxpayers if the bill passes.
“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.
“While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hard-working Americans pay the price. The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”
The Pelosi Act stands for Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments and it’s a jab at Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California. In 2022, the senator’s husband, Paul Pelosi, sold millions of dollars worth of shares of a computer chipmaker as the House prepared to vote on a bill focused on domestic chip manufacturing, inviting criticisms of insider trading.
That wasn’t the first time Sen. Pelosi attracted attention over stock trades. The Pelosi family traded shares in Facebook, AT&T and Amazon, among others in 2019. Critics said this gave them a vested interest in the success or failure of the companies.
In September 2021, popular socialist Compton Jay described Sen. Pelosi in a tweet as “The Matriarch of Corruption in Washington DC.” He accused her of being “at her old INSIDER TRADING tricks again! Working to pass subsidies for electric cars then buying $1 mil in Tesla stock Most of Pelosi’s wealth is gain from INSIDER TRADING.”
Hawley’s announcement is renewing a legislative push to curtail stock trading by lawmakers that has failed over the last few years, The Hill reported. Members of both parties showed interest in legislation banning stock trades after former Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) sold stocks when the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently closed an investigation of his trading activities without taking action.
Hawley was widely criticized when he raised a fist on January 6, 2021, in support of the mob gathered at the U.S. Capitol building. Later that day, Hawley became a laughingstock when he was shown running from the same mob after he and fellow senators were evacuated as insurrectionists breached the Capitol building. Hawley voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election and became one of the defining figures of that day, joined in that vote by 146 other Republicans.
Social media users had a lot to say, including about naming the legislation after Pelosi.
“why make it personal with the naming? Especially considering Pelosi is not the only one…” @magicmiiike tweeted.
“I think there’s zero chance your own party will vote for it, though” Tom Coates said on Twitter. “And isn’t this remarkably similar to a bill that some Democrats put forward last year that got fifteen votes (none of which were from Republicans)?”