Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer’s battle against congressional insider trading will enter a critical phase this week as the Senate is set to vote on a bill banning members of Congress from using material, nonpublic information to make private investments.
From USA Today:
Aware that most Americans would like to dump them all, members of Congress hope to regain some sense of trust by subjecting themselves to tougher penalties for insider trading and requiring they disclose stock transactions within 30 days.
A procedural vote Monday would allow the Senate later this week to pass a bill prohibiting members of Congress from using nonpublic information for their own personal benefit or “tipping” others to inside information that they could trade on.
The Senate is considering passage of the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act, which would ban members of Congress and their staffs from engaging in insider trading and would include a 30 day reporting requirement on all investments. The Senate version of the bill is cosponsored by Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Prior to Peter Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out and the 60 Minutes report based on his book, the STOCK Act had only four cosponsors in Congress. Now, the bill has 230 cosponsors.
After President Barack Obama urged Congress to ban insider trading in his State of the Union speech, Sen. Brown approached the President and said “the insider trading bill’s on Harry’s [Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)] desk right now. Tell him to get it out, it’s already there.” President Obama replied: “I’m gonna tell him. I’m gonna tell him, I’m gonna tell him to get it done.”
And Sen. Gillibrand, who made improvements to the bill, made this Senate speech last week arguing for passage of the bipartisan STOCK Act:
In an interview with BigGovernment.com after President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Peter Schweizer said he believes that the STOCK Act, while well-intended, does not go far enough to remedy the problem. Schweizer says that a new bill by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) called the RESTRICT (Restoring Ethical Standards, Transparency, and Responsibility in Congressional Trading) Act is a better bill:
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.
The RESTRICT Act would force members of Congress to either place all their assets in a blind trust or submit to a three day public disclosure requirement.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has also expressed a desire to see improvements made to the STOCK Act. Rep. Cantor says he’s committed to expanding the bill to include things like land deals and other investments by members of Congress.
No word yet on when or whether the Congress will consider action on Rep. Duffy’s RESTRICT Act.