Hawley Introduces ‘PELOSI Act’ To Ban Congress From Insider Trading

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit members of Congress from trading individual stocks.

Hawley’s Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act requires members and their immediate family members to place stocks in qualified blind trusts. If members do not do so, they must forfeit the stock to the U.S. Treasury, according to the legislation. The senator introduced similar legislation in the 117th Congress.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, reportedly one of the wealthiest members of Congress, opposed bans on stock trading in the 117th Congress. Pelosi and her husband Paul bought and sold millions in stocks, including chip stocks just before Congress passed a semiconductor subsidy package in 2022. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Prohibit Senior Federal Employees, Spouses From Trading Stocks)

Although some Democrats, including Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, supported a ban on trading in the 117th Congress, Democrats ultimately postponed voting on a package and did not pass legislation. Then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy promised the issue would be a priority for the GOP in the 118th Congress.

Stock portfolios belonging to 27 members of Congress outperformed the market in 2022, according to the analysis site Unusual Whales. Even though the S&P500 finished the year down 18%, Republicans reportedly finished up on average 0.4%, while Democrats finished down -1.76%. Pelosi’s own portfolio finished down 19.8%, according to Unusual Whales.