Today U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) reintroduced his bill to ban lawmakers from stock trading. The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act would prohibit members of Congress and their spouses from holding or trading individual stocks. The bill will require members found in violation to return their profits to American taxpayers.
“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. 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,” said Senator Hawley. “While Wall Street and Big Tech work hand-in-hand with elected officials to enrich each other, hardworking Americans pay the price. The solution is clear: we must immediately and permanently ban all members of Congress from trading stocks.”
- 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 of 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.
Senator Hawley originally introduced the Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act last Congress.