STOCK Act passes in House
The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would prevent members of Congress from financial market trading based on nonpublic information they have obtained in the course of their congressional work.
The bill, which was approved 417 to 2, is similar to a bill approved last week by the Senate, but does not include a provision regulating those in the financial information business.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor stripped a provision requiring those that collect financial information and sell it to Wall Street to register the same way lobbyists do. The House legislation does include a provision that would extend the new regulations to include the executive branch as well.
The bill may now head to a special committee of lawmakers tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate bill. Alternately, the Senate could take up the House-passed version of the bill and make changes before sending the bill to Mr. Obama for his signature.
Lawmakers are already subject to insider trading laws, but some argue that current insider trading laws do not apply to nonpublic information about current or upcoming congressional activity, since members of Congress aren't technically obligated to keep that information confidential.
The legislation languished in Congress for years until CB
The bill may now head to a special committee of lawmakers tasked with reconciling the differences between the House and Senate bill. Alternately, the Senate could take up the House-passed version of the bill and go back and forth with the House on proposed changes. After a final version of the bill has been agreed upon, it will go to Mr. Obama for his signature.
S' "60 Minutes" ran a high-profile segment on the issue late last year.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on members of Congress to send him "a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress; I will sign it tomorrow."
Democrats announced Wednesday night that they would support the Republican-sponsored version of the bill in order to move it through the legislative process, but expressed hope that the final version would be closer to the Senate bill.
"We are going to be supporting it for that reason with hopes and expectations that we can go to conference," said New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter, a chief proponent of the bill. "It has been weakened totally as far as I'm concerned," Slaughter said of the House version.
Slaughter also objected to the bill's so-called Pelosi provision, which denies members and staffers access from early access to initial public offerings (IPOs).
"She knows how to take a punch so she understands that this is a purely political piece of work that I thought was extraneous and totally unnecessary," Slaughter said Wednesday.
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