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Sen. Hawley’s PELOSI Act Prohibits Congress, Their Spouses From Stock Trading

Sen. Hawley’s PELOSI Act Prohibits Congress, Their Spouses From Stock Trading

“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.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced his Preventing Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act.

Yes. The PELOSI Act.

“For too long, politicians in Washington have taken advantage of the economic system they the rules for, turning profits for themselves at the expense of the American people,” stated Hawley. “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.”

Hawley concluded: “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.”

Stopping lawmakers from insider trading is a bipartisan issue. Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Osoff had a similar bill last January. Hawley did as well.

It’s common knowledge that Nancy Pelosi and her husband have become wealthy since her time in office. Coincidence? I doubt it. The latest eyebrow-raising move happened in July: Pelosi Unloads Millions In Nvidia Stock At A Loss Before Senate Passes Massive Tech Subsidies

2022 was a down year for Pelosi compared to 2021. But Pelosi is not the only one. This happens on both sides of the aisle.


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Insider trading is probably responsible for more stock losses than gains.

Legitimate insider information has the benefit of correcting the stock price sooner. Existing holders get a higher price than otherwise if they sell in the one case, and new buyers get a better price if they buy in the other case.

We are asking politicians to vote against their own interests??


Zero chance this gets through.

Congress doesn’t have oversight over companies. What it does can affect entire industries, more than individual companies within them. But equally what it does can affect the real estate market, so should they and their spouses be barred from investing in that too?! Would it even be legal for congress to bar that?!

And the example you cite for Pelosi shows the opposite. He lost money just so he couldn’t be accused of trading on inside information, even though that accusation would not have made any sense, because he exercised the options not on the basis of any inside information but because they were about to expire!

    Correct on both the real estate market and Pelosi. In the old days, the “good old boys” got rich by conveniently owning property where a new highway was going to go. In general, I still suspect there is more money to be made by politicians owning the right real estate than the right stock, with the exception of folks wired to the FDA and new drug approvals.

    Felix in reply to Milhouse. | January 25, 2023 at 6:47 am

    Are you saying that “provide oversight” used in a tweet to indicate that Congress is the legislative branch that sets all rules under which the market functions is not used in the way you would like to see it defined?
    By the way, what is the Milhouse – approved definition of oversight/oversee?

      Milhouse in reply to Felix. | January 25, 2023 at 8:20 am

      No, it is not being used to indicate that they set general market conditions for an entire industry. .When he says that Congressmen provide oversight of the same companies they invest in, the only possible meaning is that they oversee individual companies, as if they were regulators. And that is just not true.

      Congressmen can potentially have inside information on individual companies because they talk to the regulators, who may pass on information that they shouldn’t, but not because they themselves have regulatory power.

They will just use proxies.

    Unfortunately true, just as Biden funneled questionable lucre thru his kids.
    But why make it easy on them?

    Everyone knows that access to the legislative process – either by being a donor, congressional worker, or elected official can be a permit to print money. Either by writing sweetheart additions to legislation or knowing they’re coming down the turnpike.

    Legislators get a nice salary and a generous pension even after only one term – there’s no reason not to limit ability to inside trade their way to a better retirement.

Stupid theatre.

They’ll just funnel their stock trades through siblings or children.

    CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | January 24, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    Nothing says an amendment couldn’t be offered to at least review the trades of adult children and siblings. It isn’t so much to prevent but to deter and catch the dumbest most blatant offenders who won’t bother to hide their tracks.

    I lock my windows but while prudent a locked window is little more than a deterrent. Same here. Make it just a bit more difficult for the criminally minded to succeed.

      Not a snowballs chance in Hell of passing

        Gosport in reply to Skip. | January 25, 2023 at 6:13 am

        Laws attempting to prevent Congressional insider trading have been passed more than once. The last time being the STOCK Act of 2012.

        The problem is that ‘insider trading’ has a rather ambiguous definition in the law (if you are a Congressman that is).

        The STOCK Act could have fixed that, but the Congress didn’t want it fixed, so it didn’t.

      Olinser in reply to CommoChief. | January 24, 2023 at 7:16 pm

      Insider trading is already a CRIME.

      Just make it clear or amend the law for it to be a CRIME for ANYBODY to trade stocks based on information from ANY member of Congress.

        CommoChief in reply to Olinser. | January 24, 2023 at 10:36 pm

        Agreed and then make sure to proactively look at the trades from members and family to see if any ‘coincidental’ trades were made.

      henrybowman in reply to CommoChief. | January 24, 2023 at 8:02 pm

      We used to handle this sort of thing with “ethics standards.”
      Now, apparently, we need an actual federal law.
      I bet the law has no real teeth.
      “Return their profits to the American People?”
      Like People for The American Way, maybe?

        CommoChief in reply to henrybowman. | January 24, 2023 at 10:52 pm

        Graft and corruption in federal govt among all three branches has been a thing for a long time it isn’t new. Aaron Burr, Galphin Affair, Credit Mobilier, Whisky Ring, Teapot Dome, Black Friday, Lavender scare the S&L scandal of the 1960s….and on and on. These are some of the bigger ones through the JFK admin. Plenty of others, particularly in members selling service Academy appointments and garden variety bribery.

        In sum politicians have not ever, as a class, been a totally honest group with best interests of the American people at heart. They don’t precisely bear the mark of Cain but …

The Gentle Grizzly | January 24, 2023 at 6:48 pm

A meaningless effort. Just like “blind trusts”. One does not even need to find loopholes.

At least the acronym is cute.

What we need is a “Biden” law, to keep politicians from stealing classified documents to show to their family’s business partners.

Half the people will beat the market whether it’s up or down.

There are morons on the right as well as the left. Those on the right seem to be coming out more recently, in an activity that looks like clickbait for power. There’s always the suspicion that they know better but what the hell let’s go with it for votes.

That used to be only the practice of the left. The right was content to be amused and to mansplain where necessary.

Ron Coleman proposed some kind of special tax on profits made by a politician, while in office.. His suggestion was 100%. This makes more sense, because, as several people pointed out, there will always be a workaround for any kind of restriction. Magical thinking, either way.

    Milhouse in reply to amwick. | January 25, 2023 at 8:29 am

    I recall a proposal on Instapundit, long ago, that people leaving public service should, for the next five years, pay a 50% surtax on the difference between their income before and after their public service.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2023 at 4:52 pm

      This is getting somewhere.

      Complex, adaptive systems will defeat you if you try to steer them by directing. You stand a chance by setting up feedback. so elements in them get what they want if you get what you want.

Sweet Nevada real estate deals were precisely how lowlife Harry Reid got so rich while serving (being served) in the Senate. I don’t think Hawley’s proposal would affect those investments. Why not require all members of Congress or the Senate to place all their family investments into a tightly monitored blind trust, making it clear that any trustee is under the same insider trading rules that affect the rest of us. Given the Biden and Clinton families’ graft, I would broadly define who is “family.”

    Milhouse in reply to Henry P. | January 25, 2023 at 6:24 pm

    For the same reason that you couldn’t require that of Trump.

    In any case, you can’t require it of their family. What if they refuse?

    For that matter, what if a congressman himself refuses? What can you do about it? You can’t make it a condition of seating him in the first place; if he was duly elected and is qualified he has to be seated.