Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) sent a letter to Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) Chairman Gary Peters (D-Mich.) calling for a hearing to consider bipartisan proposals to ban insider stock trading by members of Congress and their spouses. The letter follows recent revelations that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband invested millions of dollars in computer-chip stocks as Congress was preparing to vote on legislation to subsidize the chip-manufacturing industry.
“It has been more than six months since members of this Committee proposed measures to put an end to inappropriate financial transactions. Despite these efforts, Speaker Pelosi and her husband remain undeterred from cashing in,” wrote Senator Hawley. “More than 70% of Americans agree that this is unacceptable and that Congress shouldn’t be trading stocks at all. After all, clean government in Washington begins with Members of Congress putting the American people first—and not lining their own pockets.”
Senator Hawley previously introduced the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress and their spouses from trading individual stocks and require Members found in violation to return their profits to the American people.
Read Senator Hawley’s entire letter here and below:
July 20, 2022
The Honorable Gary Peters
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
340 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Peters:
I write to request that, as Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), you convene a hearing as soon as practicable to consider bipartisan, bicameral solutions to banning insider stock trading by Members of Congress and their spouses.
This issue of whether and how Members of Congress engage in various financial transactions deserves scrutiny by the Committee. For example, recent reports show that Speaker Pelosi’s family continues to engage in what is arguably inappropriate stock trading activities. According to reports, her husband Paul Pelosi recently purchased 20,000 shares of Nvidia, a multinational semiconductor company, worth between $1 million and $5 million. This trade came ahead of a likely vote in the Senate that could set aside $52 billion to boost domestic semiconductor manufacturing and give tax credits for production.
This specific trade raises serious questions, but it’s nothing new. Last year, Speaker Pelosi’s biggest financial gains came from her husband exercising options to purchase shares of Google just one week before the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on antitrust legislation that would impact Big Tech companies. In 2020, Speaker Pelosi and her husband outperformed the S&P 500 by a whopping 14.3 percent.
Members on both sides of the aisle have introduced legislation to address this problem. I am proud to have introduced S.3504, the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act. Senators Ossoff and Kelly have introduced S.3494, the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act. Senators Merkley, Brown, and Warnock have introduced S.564, the Ban Conflicted Trading Act. Senators Warren and Daines have introduced S.3631, Bipartisan Ban on Congressional Stock Ownership Act. And Senator Gillibrand introduced S.3612, the STOCK Act 2.0. My bill and others were referred to the Committee. This suggests that there is a clear interest from our colleagues in taking action to address unethical stock trades. An oversight hearing would provide an opportunity to debate these various proposals and determine points of consensus in order to move forward.
It has been more than six months since members of this Committee proposed measures to put an end to inappropriate financial transactions. Despite these efforts, Speaker Pelosi and her husband remain undeterred from cashing in. More than 70% of Americans agree that this is unacceptable and that Congress shouldn’t be trading stocks at all. After all, clean government in Washington begins with Members of Congress putting the American people first—and not lining their own pockets.
I appreciate your willingness to discuss this issue with me previously. I believe the time has come for the Committee to hold an oversight hearing focusing specifically on banning Members of Congress and their spouses from trading stocks. Let’s get this done.
United States Senator