OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley is putting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others on notice after shady trades.
In a statement posted to his website, Hawley announced that he is introducing the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act.
The bill would prohibit Members of Congress and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks. Any members found in violation of the bill will be forced to return their profits.
The Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act will:
–Prohibit Members of Congress and their spouses from holding, acquiring, or selling stocks or equivalent economic interests during their tenure in elected office. Any holdings in diversified mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or U.S. Treasury bonds are exempt from the prohibition.
–Give Members of Congress and their spouses six months, upon assuming office, to divest any prohibited holdings or place those holdings in a blind trust for the remainder of their tenure in office.
–Ensure Members or their spouses forfeit any investment profits to the American people via the U.S. Treasury if they are found to be in violation if the Act. Members who violate the requirements will also lose the ability to deduct the losses of those investments on their income taxes. The ethics committees of Congress may levy additional fines and will publicize violations.
–Require that after two years of the Act’s implementation, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will conduct an audit of Members’ compliance with the Act.
Hawley said, “Year after year, politicians somehow manage to outperform the market, buying and selling millions in stocks of companies they’re supposed to be regulating. Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other at the expense of the country. Here’s something we can do: ban all members of Congress from trading stocks and force those who do to pay their proceeds back to the American people. It’s time to stop turning a blind eye to Washington profiteering.”
In fact, Georgia Democrat Sen. Jon Ossoff is taking steps to shore up congressional ethics with legislation aimed at barring lawmakers from trading in stocks after Pelosi and her husband have raked in millions in recent years from Wall Street.
Specifically, in recent weeks Pelosi herself has defended stock trades by members of Congress as a means of engaging in capitalism, which is ironic given that members of her own party have vehemently criticized the economic principle in favor of distinctly socialist or even Marxist economic principles.
The New York Post reported that Pelosi was trying to squash the bill.
Nancy Pelosi is scrambling to quash bipartisan efforts to ban stock trading by Congressional lawmakers — even as she and her husband have raked in as much as $30 million from bets on the Big Tech firms Pelosi is responsible for regulating.
Late last month, the House Speaker disclosed that the Pelosis scooped up millions in bullish call options for stocks including Google, Salesforce, Micron Technology, and Roblox. At the same, some insiders say she has slow-walked efforts to rein in Big Tech.
Days later, Pelosi brushed off worries over stock picking by lawmakers, claiming it was part of the “free-market economy” — comments that made Democratic insiders “blood boil,” people close to the speaker told The Post.
If the proposals to bar lawmakers from trading stocks pass, one could argue Pelosi would rather retire than give up making millions.