Entries in STOCK Act (4)


Obama Signs STOCK Act To Ban Insider Trading By Congress

iStockphoto/Thinsktock(WASHINGTON) -- Surrounded by a group of bipartisan lawmakers, President Obama on Wednesday signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, banning insider trading on Capitol Hill.

“The idea that everybody plays by the same rules is one of our most cherished American values,” the president said at the White House signing ceremony. “It’s the notion that the powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else… If we expect that to apply to our biggest corporations and to our most successful citizens, it certainly should apply to our elected officials.”

Any lawmaker who attempts to gain an unfair advantage in the market through the use of nonpublic information will now be breaking the law as a result of the STOCK Act.

While the president lauded the legislation, he made clear “our work isn’t done.”

“There’s obviously more that we can do to close the deficit of trust and limit the corrosive influence of money in politics.  We should limit any elected official from owning stocks in industries that they have the power to impact.  We should make sure people who bundle campaign contributions for Congress can’t lobby Congress, and vice versa,” he said.

Obama thanked the members of Congress who worked together to make the law a reality, saying “it shows that when an idea is right that we can still accomplish something on behalf of the American people and to make our government and our country stronger.”  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate Passes Congress Insider Trading Ban

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The STOCK Act, a House-passed legislation to ban members of Congress from benefiting from insider stock trading, was approved by the Senate Thursday 96-3 and will go to President Obama for his signature.

The bill reaffirms that members of Congress, congressional staff, and executive and judicial branch officials are not exempt from the insider trading prohibitions arising under securities and commodities laws.

Members of Congress have consistently cited this legislation as one that could help restore some of the public’s confidence and trust.

“I believe by the overwhelming vote today that we have sent a message to the American people that we recognize that elected office is a place not for personal gain but for public service,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said following the vote.

The bill requires members and senior congressional staff to report the purchase or sale of securities exceeding $1,000 no later than 30 days after the transaction. It also requires senior executive branch officials to disclose their home mortgages.

“I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Borwn, R-Mass., said. “Insider trading is wrong, whether it happens on Wall Street or on Capitol Hill. The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”

The bill bans this group from participating in initial public offerings in any manner other than what is available to the members of the public. It strengthens laws relating to denial of congressional pensions to members who commit public corrupt crimes while serving in Congress and will deny pensions to former members who commit those crimes while serving in public offices.

The legislation also prohibits executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from receiving bonuses while the firms remain in federal conservatorship.

This bill is now headed towards the president’s desk for final signature.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Senate Passes Ban on Insider Trading

Architect of the Capitol(WASHINGTON) -- The ban on insider trading in Congress is moving along legislatively.

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act passed in the Senate Thursday evening by a vote of 96-3.

Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., voted against the bill. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is still recovering from his stroke, so he did not vote.

The legislation turned into a much more expansive bill than when it was proposed, after a slew of amendments were debated all week and voted on Thursday.

Most significantly the bill, which bans members of Congress from benefiting from insider stock trading, now covers the executive branch as well, including the requirement that financial disclosure statements are now electronically filed to be available online and that the 30-day notice of stock or securities transactions also apply to a limited number of executive branch officials.

“If it affects us, it affects them, they have a tremendous amount of inside information and they should be held to the same standard that we are,” said Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.

But the expansion of the bill also had a few other inclusions, such as the requirement of disclosure of mortgages by members of Congress and limits to the bonuses of executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while they’re in a trusteeship.

At a time when public confidence in Congress is at an all-time low, senators hope this legislation will restore some much-needed confidence and trust from the American people.

“We sent a strong message by strengthening our laws that public office is not for private gain,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “The Senate came together in an overwhelming bipartisan fashion to correct the perception that insider trading is somehow going on in Washington, D.C. Whether or not members are engaging in insider trading, it is important that we respond to the perception that some members may be using their official position for private gain.”

The legislation will now be sent over to the House of Representatives. Senators hope President Obama can have a final bill ready for his signature by the end of the month.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Congressional Insider Trading Bill Moves Forward in the Senate

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, the STOCK Act, a legislation to ban members of Congress from benefiting from insider stock trading, on Monday moved one step closer to passage in the Senate.

By a bipartisan vote of 93-2, the Senate invoked cloture on the act, meaning the bill procedurally moved forward and will now move towards final passage after debate and amendments. Voting against the bill were Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. Not voting were Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Mark Kirk, R-Ill.; Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

The bill requires that members of Congress and staff disclose any stock transactions within 30 days. It also prohibits members of Congress from trading based on information that is not available to the public and puts into language and law that if their actions violate the public trust they will be punished.

Senators hope that this explicit law will clear up “confusion” that they say has been rampant and led to reports of members of Congress benefiting from insider trading.

“Members of Congress are not above the law,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday. “We must play by the same rules every other American plays by. The STOCK Act will clear up any perception that it’s acceptable for members of Congress to profit from insider trading.”

The final passage of this law will be symbolic. On Monday many senators noted that with such low approval ratings, Congress doesn’t need one more reason for the public to be against them.  They hope that a law like this on the books would at least in part help to clean up their tattered image.

“It is a violation of trust that our constituents place in us, a violation of the democratic process, a violation of the securities laws, and a violation of congressional ethics rules if members of Congress or their employees engage in insider trading, the use of information not available to the public, to make investment decisions,” Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said on the Senate floor Monday. “It’s important to remove that doubt because any appearance of a breach in trust between Congress and our constituents is so corrosive to honest, open and effective government.”

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., the sponsor of the bill, who appealed directly to President Obama to help get this legislation through the Senate quickly, said Monday passage of the bill will send an important message to the American people.

“It’s about cleaning up Washington,” Brown said. “With the bill before us today, we can take a small step to reestablishing the trust between the American people and Congress. If we pass the STOCK Act this week, it will send a very strong and unified message to the American people that Congress does not -- does not -- consider itself above the law.”

In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, Obama pushed for passage of a bill to ban insider trading by members of Congress, saying he’ll “sign it tomorrow” once Congress sends him a bill passed by both houses.

The Senate could approve final passage of the bill possibly as early as this week. If passed, which is likely given the bipartisan vote tally Monday, the bill will be sent over to the House of Representatives.

But, as ABC News’ John Parkinson reports, the House is expected to consider its own version of the STOCK Act by the end of February. A GOP leadership aide says while the Senate bill is a good-faith effort, is not a perfect bill and the House will introduce its own version with tweaks to improve it.

Then the House would likely send its bill back to the Democrat-controlled Senate for final passage before sending the bill to Obama for his signature.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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