In a State of the Union speech devoid of clarity or specifics, President Barack Obama offered but one shining exception: a direct call for members of Congress to send him a bill to ban congressional insider trading.
"Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress and I will sign it tomorrow," President Obama said to applause. "Let's limit any elected official from owning stock in industries they impact."
Since the release of "Throw Them All Out
," Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer has been a one-man battalion fighting for members of Congress to abide by the same insider trading laws that apply to all Americans. President Obama's speech Tuesday night is evidence that Schweizer's battle against congressional insider trading and cronyism has scored a critical victory.
"It appears that our message has finally broken through," said Schweizer in an interview Tuesday night with Breitbart News. "Thousands of citizens across America have called and written their representatives and the White House demanding a ban on congressional insider trading. The President's speech tonight is proof that their efforts were not in vain. Now is the time to apply maximum pressure and get behind Rep. Sean Duffy's (R-WI) RESTRICT Act. It's the best proposal I've seen to date."
The RESTRICT (Restoring Ethical Standards, Transparency, and Responsibility in Congressional Trading) Act
(H.R. 3550) would require members of Congress to either establish blind trusts or submit to a three day public disclosure of any and all investments. According to Schweizer, the bill is preferable to other bills, such as the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act, which Schweizer believes do not go far enough to remedy the problem.
Since November, Peter Schweizer and Breitbart News have published numerous articles detailing bipartisan instances of congressional insider trading that have included Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL)
, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
, all of which were featured in a special report by 60 Minutes
"There's still much work to be done," said Schweizer. "We need to get behind Rep. Duffy's RESTRICT Act
and let our leaders know that we will not stand idly by as members of Congress profit off of access to material, nonpublic information."