President Signs Congressional Insider Trading Ban

Today President Obama signed the STOCK Act, a bill meant to curb potential insider trading of stocks by members of Congress.

The act bans campaign bundlers from acting as registered lobbyists and makes it illegal for lawmakers to own stocks that could be affected by legislative votes. President Obama had pressed for passage of the STOCK Act in his 2012 State of the Union address but acknowledged at today’s signing that more remains. “There is obviously more that we can do to close the deficit of trust,” said the president at the bill-signing.

It’s a good step, even if it is a small one.

The bill doesn’t ban insider trading by the so-called “political intelligence operatives” who skulk around the halls of Congress for information to use is stock trading, nor does it require these people disclose their clients and activities.

Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the non-partisan good government group Public Citizen has been pushing for Congress to take up the STOCK Act since 2006 and was there for the signing. He offered this reaction. “This is a good bill — the most significant ethics achievement of the 112th Congress. But it could and should be stronger, and legislation is pending to strengthen it. Wall Street didn’t want this, and Congress passed it only because they were shamed into it. Still, it is a good step.”

Notably the President did not mention the DISCLOSE Act which is under consideration in committee and which would shine some desperately needed light on campaign spending, nor did he call for any other fixes for the disaster of Citizens United. But it’s a start, and it’s a win and with a general election around the corner we’ll take what we can.

Related Stories:

Pressure Builds On SEC Over Political Spending

Senate Passes STOCK Act, Bill Moved To House

House GOP Gaming Ethics Reform

Photo from David Paul Ohmer via flickr.


Tim R.
Tim Ra5 years ago

I would hardly call curving corruption in congress as "small stuff".

Mary Driver
Mary Driver5 years ago

This is HILLARIOUS! Can you spell...E-L-E-C-T-I-O-N Y-E-A-R ????? I'll put this right up there with "THE WAR ON WOMEN" LOLOLOL THERE is a WAR on ALL OF US! NDAA...National Preparedness Executive Order.....HR 3200....Patriot ACT.....Any of this ring a bell. IT'S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. RESEARCH THESE...... !!! Leave the small stuff alone for awhile and LOOK AT OUR DWINDLING CONSTITUTION........It's FADING FAST!!

Tim R.
Tim Ra5 years ago

It's a start, but, yes, there is much more to do. I, for one, would like to see term limits so they can no longer be career politicians. Plus, I'd like to see a ban on corporate lobbying - that right there is the flood gate to the majority of problems we're already in.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Of course he signed it, he does have morals but will Congress let it pass? I doubt it.

Bruce K.
Bruce K5 years ago

It must not have any real effect on them or they would not have passed it

Mariea G.
Mariea G5 years ago

We need to remember that many geese are referred to as a "gaggle" of geese, a group of lions as a "pride", and group of baboons as a "congress." The term suits our congress perfectly! (No insult intended, though, toward actual baboons...) :-)

Faye S.
Faye S5 years ago

This bill was tweeked so much before it was passed and that will lessen it's effect. These politicians will figure out a way to circumvent the legislation.

Lilithe Magdalene

Good news!

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

We have to look at what everything congress does with a microscope. They have been left to their own devices for too long. Congress created the paper money although it didn't have authority to do it and was it forbidden by the tenth amendment.

Bee Hive
Fiona O5 years ago

Great new, scrutiny where there should be scrutiny.