On Thursday, the Senate voted 96-3 to ensure that the same insider trading laws that apply to citizens also extend to members of Congress.
But as the Associated Press
points out, elected officials enjoy at least seven legal exemptions that the rest of us do not:
While Congress is moving to explicitly apply insider trading laws to its members, lawmakers are exempt from provisions of other federal laws.
In 1995, the House and Senate passed the Congressional Accountability Act, which did apply many civil rights, labor and workplace safety statutes to the legislative branch.
Specifically, members of Congress are exempt from:
- The Freedom of Information Act.
- Investigatory subpoenas to obtain information for safety and health probes.
- Protections against retaliation for whistleblowers.
- Having to post notices of worker rights in offices.
- Prosecution for retaliating against employees who report safety and health hazards.
- Having to train employees about workplace rights and legal remedies.
- Record-keeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses.
Unfair? Further evidence that members of Congress are out of touch and think they're above the law?