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.”