Amid the controversial reports of a new law that would essentially ban members of Congress from conducting acts of insider trading, the STOCK Act has finally passed both the House and Senate and now awaits President Obama’s signature. Here’s the latest report from POLITICO:
The Senate voted 96 to 3 to pass a watered-down STOCK Act, which would bar members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs.
“I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who authored an early version of the bill last fall, said in a statement. “The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who was also involved in shaping the STOCK Act, echoed Brown, calling it “a strong bill with teeth” and a “good step forward” to begin reestablishing trust with the American people.
Others downplayed the significance of the legislation. “It’s a modest gesture,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) told POLITICO, adding that he believes lawmakers are already prohibited from insider trading under existing law.
Three Senators who voted against cloture on STOCK Act – Burr R-NC, Coburn R-OK and Grassley R-IA
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 22, 2012
Let's all bang our heads against a wall at once…. 1-2-3 UGH! Senators ask to "tweak" (read water down) the… http://t.co/OzbrNNyI
— Waco Tea Party (@WacoTeaParty) March 19, 2012
Here is the official statement from President Obama after hearing of the Congressional approval of the STOCK Act:
In my State of the Union Address, I laid out a blueprint for an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules, including those who have been elected to serve the American people.
Today, I’m pleased Congress took bipartisan action to pass the STOCK Act. After I sign this bill into law, Members of Congress will not be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information they gleaned on Capitol Hill. It’s a good first step. And in the months ahead, Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.