House GOP Gaming Ethics Reform


Legislation making it clear that members of Congress are subjected to federal anti-fraud and insider trading laws cleared the House Thursday but not without being nearly gutted by House Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

The House version of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act would prohibit members of Congress and their employees from disclosing nonpublic information on “any pending or prospective legislative action relating to any publicly traded company” and require lawmakers to publicly report any trades of more than $1000 within 90 days.

But the House version omits two important Senate provisions. One would require that people who get paid to gather political intelligence register as lobbyists. The other is a bipartisan proposal to toughen federal anti-corruption laws.

Craig Holman of Public Citizen offered this take on the bill that came out of the House. “[Rep.]Cantorís decision to weaken the legislation, which was roundly condemned by congressional Democrats and Republicans alike, is a gift to the financial interests that oppose transparency of trades that exploit insider knowledge.”

Even Senate Republicans were shocked by Cantor’s actions. Sen Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) called them “astonishing and extremely disappointing.”

All hope is not lost though for ethics reform with some teeth. A conference committee could be formed to work out the differences between the House and the Senate bills with the possibility of some of these provisions making their way back in. President Obama called on Congress to pass the STOCK Act and he’s expecting a strong one. If that doesn’t happen Republicans will have some explaining to do.


Related Stories:

Senate Passes Stock Act, Bill Moves To House


Photo from Katrina. Tuliao via flickr.


Lynn D.
Lynn D5 years ago

Senators & Representatives should be held accountable to the same laws we are ---- as THEY made them! Thanks for article!

Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

I would think it would be a no-brainer to subject Congress to the same laws the rest of us are subject to...

Angela M.
Angela M.6 years ago

According to Sarah Palin- having Congresspeople and Senators who became rich while serving, proves the American dream is a reality since these people were able to improve their financial position by hard work. Cantor seems to be saying the opposite. It wasn't work but what they knew in terms of insider information which contributed to their improved finances and he will do every thing within his power to see that the representatvies get to keep their ill-gotten gains while working to cut the salaries and benefits of regular government employees who don't have access to such information. Once again the haves are protecting the interests of the haves. No surprise there but they are usually not so blatant in their actions.

6 years ago

GOP and Ethics these are two contradictory terms...



Vivianne Mosca-Clark

Criminal actions need to be bought to justice. No matter how rich ore poor you are.

Nancy Black
Nancy Black6 years ago

Cantor claims to be supporting the views of the Tea Party. I don't believe that even they would like this so in reality he is on the payroll of lobbyists or his own payroll. One thing, I know he is not supporting the views of the middle class or those who are unemployed. Of course, why should he? He is making far more money by doing what he is doing.

Julie Dawson
Julie D6 years ago

So they agreed to a watered down version of this bill which will have really no effect at all. Yet they were pretty sewft at locking up Marth Stewart for doing far less and she did not hold any pubic office. Shouldn't our politicians be held to even a much higher standard than a private citizen?

Tom Rose
Thomas Rose6 years ago

I`m amazed but not surprised that members of congress feel that it`s OK to place themselves above the laws of the land. They can legislate whatever loop holes that suit them--see Social Security advoidance as a starter--They have created a favored-citizen class in our classless society because they can do just that. Cantor is the poster child right now, but...Will they pass an additional law allowing rape or murder for their members???

Linda T.
Linda T6 years ago

Well, well, well. Seems they don't like living under the same laws and ethics they expect the rest of us to live under. How about adding drug testing to the law while your at it. Cantor your one of the most shameful law makers we have hope the people in your district puts you in the unemployment line where you belong. with your ethics K Street will be clammering to hire you up.

Christopher Fowler

In the words of Ricky Ricardo; "Cantor, sjhew got some 'splaining to do!"

The STOCK bill had bipartisan support in the Senate, so why is Congress so divided on it? I think the answer will be found in the offices of Koch, Exxon, Chevron, Monsanto, et al.

Let's all forward the following to him, as a reminder that he serves the people and not himself or the corporations:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

That is the oath that ALL members of Congress took. Some of them have been in politics for so long that they have forgotten who they REALLY work for.