From The Hill:
Politically vulnerable lawmakers are lining up as co-sponsors of legislation that would ban congressional insider trading.
A “60 minutes” report earlier this month indicated that members of Congress have been trading stocks based on knowledge gained from their positions, a practice that does not violate the law.
Before the report, a House bill that would outlaw the practice only had nine co-sponsors. In the week following the “60 Minutes” segment, that number jumped to 92. Of the 83 additions, 19 are facing competitive reelection races as defined by the Cook Political Report.
Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who is seeking reelection in blue Massachusetts and will likely face Elizabeth Warren, a champion of Wall Street reform, introduced a version in the upper chamber two days after the report aired. Two of the four co-sponsors, Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), are facing challenging reelection battles in 2012.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a third version three days later. She and four of the seven co-sponsors are up for reelection in 2012. Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who both face races rated as toss-ups, are among those that have signed on.
The House bill, titled the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, was first introduced in 2006 by then-Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). The measure was reintroduced it in each Congress since then, but the bill never got out of committee and never received more than 14 co-sponsors until the “60 minutes” piece aired.
Now, both the House Financial Services and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees have scheduled hearings on the legislation next week.
Read more here.