U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R.Mo) put Speaker Nancy Pelosi on notice over her remarkably well-timed stock trades and announced he will introduce 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 to the American people.
Senator 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.”
Hawley’s office issued a statement that said 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.”
Here is some information on just how lucky Pelosi gets when she trades. From MSN:
On Dec. 22, 2020, for example, Paul Pelosi invested between $500,000 and $1 million in 25 call options of Tesla stocks. Why is that a problem? As the AP reported, Joe Biden “signed his executive order directing federal officials to transition federal, state, local and tribal government fleets to ‘clean and zero-emission vehicles’ on Jan. 27”—less than five weeks after Pelosi’s investment.
The perception that the Pelosis may be profiting off of information she receives as Speaker of the House is problematic; as is the fact she is profiting from things she says are bad. According to Business Insider, the same day Pelosi called Facebook “shameful” and “irresponsible,” her husband was purchasing shares of Facebook, at a below market rate, that he would later sell for a hefty profit. Pelosi and her team claim that “The Speaker does not own any stocks. But, of course, her husband does, making this a distinction without much of a difference (which is why this new proposed legislation bans spouses from buying and selling stocks.)
Last month, in response to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet saying that, “It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office,” Pelosi was forced to confront her opposition to this reform. In an instant, this San Francisco liberal transformed into a Club for Growth conservative, insisting that “We are a free-market economy.”
…In the midst of the financial meltdown, on Sept. 16, 2008, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke held a secret meeting with members of Congress. The result, as Business Insider noted, was that “Congressmen privy to this information reacted—not by dropping everything and drawing up a plan to save the economy, but by dumping stock and avoiding the losses everyone else would take in the coming month. Others bought stocks in financial firms that would later be saved by the federal government.”
One of the politicians featured in the segment was Nancy Pelosi, who participated in a 2008 Initial Public Offering from Visa, as 60 Minutes noted, “just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies, began making its way through the House. Undisturbed by a potential conflict of interest, the Pelosis—whose net worth is well over $100 million—purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars. Two days later it was trading at $64. The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House.”
Even AOC agrees with Hawley in a bad sign for Pelosi. She said:
“It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office.”
It is absolutely ludicrous that members of Congress can hold and trade individual stock while in office.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 8, 2021
The access and influence we have should be exercised for the public interest, not our profit. It shouldn’t be legal for us to trade individual stock with the info we have. https://t.co/Z3UZej2eC2