After Nancy Pelosi has massed hundreds of millions of dollars while in Congress, Republicans in the U.S. Senate are looking to prevent lawmakers and their spouses from trading stocks on which the officials would have privileged information and used the bill’s title to make a not-so-subtle dig at former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
On Tuesday, one particular Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., introduced the PELOSI Act, officially the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act, requiring members and their spouses to divest any holdings or put them in a blind trust within six months of entering office.
“Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market – today l’m introducing legislation to BAN stock trading & ownership by members of Congress. I call it the PELOSI Act,” he wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
The bill comes after revelations last year that Nancy’s husband, Paul Pelosi, traded between $1 million and $5 million of stocks for semiconductors just days before Congress allocated $52 million to the industry. The stocks were later sold at a loss to remove the appearance of impropriety, according to Fox News.
Other lawmakers and their spouses have made similarly advantageous trades, including Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who sold investments after receiving classified briefings on the coronavirus pandemic.
Hawley’s bill excludes mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and Treasury bonds purchases.
Hawley’s bill would require any profits made by a lawmaker to be returned to American taxpayers.
It also specifically amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, which prohibits using nonpublic information for private profit, commonly known as insider trading — which is already illegal for business leaders and everyday Americans.