The Senate Thursday passed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which will ban lawmakers from trading stocks based on the information they have gathered while performing their Congressional duties.
The Senate voted 96-3 to STOCK Act, which would require members of the Congress to file electronic disclosures of their stock trades within 30 days of the transactions.
No one should be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information gleaned on Capitol Hill. So I'm pleased the Senate took bipartisan action to pass the STOCK Act. I urge the House of Representatives to pass this bill, and I will sign it right away, quoted Economic Times as Obama saying.
While this is an important step to rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people, there is much more work to be done, like prohibiting elected officials from owning stocks in industries they impact, and prohibiting people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress from lobbying Congress, an idea that has bipartisan support outside of Washington, Obama added.
The STOCK Act clarifies a doubt in the 1934 Securities and Exchange Act by prohibiting members of the Congress and their staff from trading on non-public information they obtain by virtue of their positions that is not available to the general public.
The bill also requires disclosure 30 days after any securities trade over USD 1000 and would require all disclosures to be available electronically.
Simple Rundown to the Reactions
In a November telecast on CBS's 60 Minutes about members of the Congress trading stock based on inside information they received because of their positions drew national attention to the issue.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said that this legislation would ensure that members of Congress would be prosecuted if they abuse the public trust to gain financial advantage.
Elected officials should play by the same rules as everyone else, and they should never use insider information to enrich themselves, he made himself clear.
Many executive branch employees were already subject to stringent financial disclosure rules but the Republican Senator, Richard Shelby, was keen to put administration officials under the same scrutiny as Congress.
Independent Senator Joe Lieberman argued against STOCK Act citing reason, it would put a costly and undue burden on Government since more than 300,000 government workers, including secretaries and drivers are coming under it. He suggested an alternative to limit the disclosures to about 2,000 top-level officials.
U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) issued this video statement after the Senate passed his Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
Watch the video: