Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may no longer be in Congress or power, but that doesn’t mean her horrible tenure has been forgotten. And, as long as Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri has anything to say about it, her legacy will be one of ill-gotten and, hopefully soon, illegal gains.
If you didn’t know, Pelosi and her husband, Paul, have had no small share of success trading in the stock market. Of course, the successful part of that is no doubt due to Pelosi having rather lucrative positions of oversight for each of the companies her husband traded in. According to The Washington Free Beacon, the Pelosis have managed to add a whopping $140 million to their net worth in 2008 as a result.
As I’m sure you can agree, the whole thing is rather unfair to the rest of us poor individuals just giving our best and even well-informed guesses and hoping that we are making good trades.
And it’s precisely why Hawley is introducing a new bill aptly named the PELOSI Act.
According to Hawley, the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act would essentially ban all congressional members and their spouses from trading and owning stock.
He said in a recent statement on the act, “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.”
He noted that it’s essentially a continuous merry-go-round of Wall Street and Big Tech working with elected officials to enrich only themselves. Additionally, it’s everyday Americans who end up paying the price.
And so, he’s seeking an end to the cycle once and for all.
According to the bill, all “holding, acquiring, or selling stocks or equivalent economic interest during their tenure in elected office” would be banned. It would also present each member a total of six months to “divest” any such holdings or have them placed in a blind trust that couldn’t be touched until they left elected office.
Should the act be violated, Hawley noted that punishments such as fines and losing the ability to deduct investment losses on their taxes would be inflicted. Let’s just say those fines had aught to be rather hefty ones. As it stands now, there are fines for certain congressional trading practices, but because they are so minimal, some members don’t hesitate to break the law anyway.
Now, to be sure, this isn’t the first time such an effort has been made in Congress. In fact, just last year, Pelosi herself even suggested an interest in supporting the ban of stock trading by congressional members and their families. However, as usual, nothing ever came of it.
Additionally, in January 2021, another semi-bipartisan push for restrictions on congressional stock trading was made. Democratic Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff then introduced the Ban Congressional Stock Trading Act and even gained 15 democratic co-sponsors, a whopping amount considering what the bill would do.
However, as with all other attempts thus far, the bill went nowhere – especially with such a lying cheat as Pelosi at the helm.
Of course, the same problems that plagued these attempts are likely to also squash Hawley’s. While the bill might get enough support in the House of Representatives, given its newly acquired GOP majority, the Senate is a different story.
I imagine a name like the PELOSI Act won’t do it any favors either in the upper chamber, where Pelosi allies like Chuck Schumer still sit in power.
But that doesn’t mean the act or at least its premise should be forgotten. On the contrary, increased attention should be brought to this injustice, and there should be laws prohibiting such actions. And the quicker Congress realizes that, the better.