Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., proposed legislation on Wednesday that would ban members of Congress from insider trading.
If passed, the bill dubbed the “Banning Insider Trading in Congress Act,” would outlaw legislators and their spouses from holding, buying, or selling individual stocks.
However, members would still be allowed to invest in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, or Treasury bonds.
“It’s time to stop turning a blind eye to Washington profiteering,” Hawley wrote in a statement on Wednesday.
Hawley’s proposal comes days after a similar bill was proposed by first-term Sens. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., and Mark Kelly, D-Ariz.
In Ossoff’s and Kelly’s proposal, new members of Congress would be required to move their stock holdings within 120 days of entering office.
Hawley’s bill would require new members to either dispose of their holdings within six months of entering office, or move them to a blind trust fund for their entire tenure in office.
Hawley’s plan would also punish those who violate this law by requiring them to return all stock profits to the U.S. Treasury. Members would also be prohibited from subtracting their stock losses from their taxes and would face additional fines.
Ossoff and Kelly would fine violators the amount of their entire congressional salary. Dependent children would also be banned from investing in stocks, in contrast to Hawley’s plan.
Both proposals come after numerous reports revealed that various members of Congress were using nonpublic information to commit insider trading.
Business Insider revealed after a five-month investigation that 49 members of Congress and 182 congressional staffers reportedly violated the Stock Act, which bans Congress and staffers from using classified information to trade stocks.
Authorities are currently investigating pro-Trump-impeachment Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., who allegedly sold a majority of his stock holdings in February 2020 after receiving a nonpublic briefing about Covid-19 shutdowns.
The New York Times also reported that members of Congress and their immediate families traded more than $630 million worth of stocks in 2021.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., defended congressional insider trading, telling reporters last month that “we are a free market economy. [Members of Congress] should be able to participate in that.”
Nancy Pelosi is reportedly worth at least $46.1 million, according to the outlet.