By a vote of 93-2, STOCK Act advances in the Senate

A transcript of the bill:

SEC. 602.

‘‘No Member of Congress and no employee of Congress shall use any nonpublic information derived from the individual’s position as a Member of Congress or employee of Congress, or gained from performance of the individual’s duties, for personal benefit.

SEC. 605.

‘‘A Member of Congress or an employee of Congress who violates the prohibition under section 602 shall be subject to appropriate punitive, disciplinary, and other remedial action in accordance with any applicable laws, resolutions, rules, or regulations.

Seems pretty cut and dry to me, guys. SEC. 8. says the exact same thing about “federal employees”.


The latest news from CBS:

In a move aimed at improving transparency and voter confidence in Congress, the Senate on Monday voted to advance a bill to stop so-called “congressional insider trading.”


By a vote of 93 to 2, the Senate agreed to proceed with debate on the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act. The legislation specifically prohibits federal lawmakers from trading stocks based on nonpublic information they have obtained in the course of their congressional work.


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“Members of Congress and their staffers have the duty to the American people,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor today. “They may not use privileged information they get on the job to personally profit, but the perception remains that a few members of Congress are using their positions as public servants to serve themselves instead… The STOCK Act will clear up any perception that it’s acceptable for members of Congress to profit from insider trading.”


Senators Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., voted against the motion. Five senators did not vote: Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Like everyone else, members of Congress are subject to current insider trading laws. However, some contend 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. So, for instance, if a lawmaker learns an upcoming bill will grant a company a large government contract, which could boost that company’s stock, he or she is free to buy that stock ahead of the bill’s public introduction.


The issue of “insider trading” in Congress came to the fore after a piece on CBS News’ “60 Minutes” shed new light on the matter, and 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.”

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