NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Congressional insider trading bill being considered in the U.S. Senate today

Last week in his State of the Union Address, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma renewed the call to end the lit­tle-known uneth­i­cal prac­tice that helps mem­bers of Con­gress increase their wealth through insid­er trading.

Today the Sen­ate will con­sid­er S. 2038, spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Joe Lieber­man (Par­ty of One — Con­necti­cut) which will pro­hib­it mem­bers from trad­ing in infor­ma­tion that they receive that is not gen­er­al­ly avail­able to the pub­lic in order to buy or sell stock and pos­i­tive­ly affect their portfolios.

If you or I engaged in these kinds of actions, the Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion would inves­ti­gate and we’d be sub­ject to crim­i­nal laws on insid­er trad­ing. How­ev­er, mem­bers of Con­gress, who are in a posi­tion to receive sen­si­tive and con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion, have not been sub­ject to the same laws. At NPI, we enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly applaud the effort to end con­gres­sion­al insid­er-trad­ing and to hold mem­bers of Con­gress account­able to the same laws that all cit­i­zens must abide by.

A sim­i­lar bill is being con­sid­ered in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Louise Slaugh­ter has been try­ing to get the House to take up this issue for years, but it nev­er real­ly moved for­ward. Slaugh­ter today insist­ed that House Repub­li­cans quit stalling and bring the leg­is­la­tion up for a vote.

“Tonight our coun­ter­parts in the Sen­ate will begin vot­ing on a bill that has been in their cham­ber for eleven weeks. I’ve been push­ing the STOCK Act in the House for almost six years. Now that it has the sup­port of more than half of the House cham­ber, there should be no fur­ther delay,” Slaugh­ter said in a state­ment. “The Amer­i­can peo­ple are angry and expect more from Repub­li­can lead­er­ship than con­tin­ued stalling. It’s time for Speak­er Boehn­er and Major­i­ty Leader Can­tor to bring the STOCK Act up for a clean up or down vote.”

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One Comment

  1. Mem­bers should be required to dis­close major trans­ac­tions in the same time as it is for every­body else. Busi­ness peo­ple have a two day lim­it to file but most cor­po­rates file in one day. If con­gress needs to con­tin­ue a dou­ble stan­dard, five days to file trans­ac­tions should be enough.

    # by Sumflow :: January 31st, 2012 at 7:37 PM
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