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 reply on “Congressional insider trading bill being considered in the U.S. Senate today”

  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.

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