Josh Hawley needles Nancy Pelosi by renaming his congressional stock trading ban bill after her
Sen. Josh Hawley is trying to taunt Nancy Pelosi by renaming a stock trading ban bill.
- His PELOSI Act is a retread of a proposal that garnered no support in the last Congress.
Sen. Josh Hawley took a parting shot at former Speaker Nancy Pelosi by slapping her name on a languishing congressional stock trading ban proposal that would stifle her husband's livelihood.
The Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments (PELOSI) Act is a performative rewrite of the bill Hawley floated in the 117th Congress which failed to get a single cosponser. The only major change to the bill this session is it has been tweaked to specifically ding the California Democrat since she stepped down from her leadership role.
—Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 24, 2023
"Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn't be using their position to get rich on the stock market," Hawley wrote online, taking an obvious swipe at Pelosi and her investment-flipping husband, Paul Pelosi.
Pelosi famously pushed back against any stock trading prohibitions during the 117th Congress — "We're a free market economy." she declared in December 2021 — but later tasked colleagues with sorting it out amongst themselves.
Pelosi's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment about the latest political jab.
Donald Sherman, chief counsel at government watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, chided Hawley for the cheap shot.
—An Ethical Donald (@donaldonethics) January 24, 2023
"Way to undermine an important issue with political stupidity," Sherman wrote online.
Hawley's proposal, which is one of the least stringent put forth since Insider's Conflicted Congress investigation revealed rampant STOCK Act violations on Capitol Hill with no significant consequences, would block congressional members and their spouses from owning or trading individual stocks while in office.
Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas have reintroduced a more comprehensive stock trading ban bill (H.R. 345) that's already attracted nearly four dozen co-sponsors from both parties.
Their bipartisan TRUST in Congress Act — which would require congressional members, their spouses, and any dependent children to relinquish control of their finances by transferring their assets to a qualified blind trust — was a front-runner in last session's push to bolster ethical governing.
That effort crumbled last December after Democratic leaders in both chambers failed to reach consensus on a substantive fix.
Hawley managed to work in a different type of dig against Pelosi a few months earlier, telling Insider that he was mostly fine with aging political leaders but that "I'd love to see Speaker Pelosi move on."
Hawley's sniping in that case came in response to Insider's "Red, White, and Gray" project, which explores the costs, benefits, and dangers of life in a democracy helmed by those of advanced age.
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