Senate Passes STOCK Act, Bill Moves To House

The Senate voted Thursday to pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge or STOCK Act, a bill that bans members of Congress and their staff from using insider information to make personal investment decisions.

The bill now moves to the House where Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) has pledged to bring the bill to the floor next week.

The Senate-passed measure would prohibit lawmakers and their staffers from trading stocks, bond and other investments using information obtained from private congressional briefings. Normally such a practice is illegal under existing insider-trading laws but when applied to Congress and its staff is incredibly difficult to prove.

Only three Senators, Tom Coburn (R-Okla), Richard Burr (R-N.C) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M) voted against the bill.

The law also would mandate that all lawmakers report all major transactions within 30 days and file financial disclosure reports electronically. Senators voted down a bipartisan proposal to permanently ban earmarks as well as an amendment to require lawmakers and senior staff to divest of stocks or put their stock holdings in blind trusts.

Given the abysmal ratings of Congress, passing some ethics reform should be a PR win. It’s also a much needed reform given the ever-expanding wealth gap between members of Congress and their constituents. While a stronger, more forceful bill would have been better, this is a step in the right direction.

Photo from Katrina.Tuliao via flickr.

35 comments

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley6 years ago

I don't care what they're passing, I still don't trust them. Are we supposed to believe their "word of honor"? Cheaters always cheat, and these people are cheaters with absolutely no honor, scruples or ethics. Money and power are of utmost importance to them--they will therefore do whatever it takes to get both.

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Chad A.
Chad A6 years ago

This is long overdue...

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Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

Baby steps. I am sure given time they will find some other way to skim from the people.

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Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

You cannot currently send a star to Luvenia because you have done so within the last week Wish I could have Luvenia best laugh I've had in awhile.

We need a bill with teeth and making them all put their investments in a blind trust while they serve should do the trick.

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wesley a.
wes Allen6 years ago

I see they are going to keep the ear marks. They just can't give em up.

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Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A step in the right direction I suppose, but we're all much saavier now, and how this will be enforced, will be the conundrum.

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Luvenia V.
Luvenia V6 years ago

The Tooth Fairy and a few friends came by and together we got a good laugh out of this article. I thought the Easter Bunny was going to wet my carpet he laughed so hard and Santa laughed so hard he cried. All my friends had the same thing to say, that if you think these crooks will abide by any such law you are HIGH. Crap I do have to clean my carpet, silly unicorn.

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Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Thanks for the chuckle Marcus. I'm taking a 'I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it attitude'.

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John Kramer
John Kramer6 years ago

I hope all the Democrats vote for the stop insider trading act. I don't know about Nancy Polosi. If she does not sign the stop insider trading act, it will be a good idea for her to retire. The Senate almost passed it unaminously. The three senators who voted against it could be sent packing. We will wait and see.

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John Kramer
John Kramer6 years ago

I hope the house will pass it. Will Nancy Polosi vote for it? Let us hope so. She was one of the worst offenders. She made a lot of money in insider trading.

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