Facing plummeting approval ratings, along with a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll showing 56% of registered voters would like to replace all 535 member of Congress, the House of Representatives is moving quickly this week to pass a bill preventing elected officials from using “nonpublic” information to benefit financially.
The Senate is expected to take up a procedural vote today that will pave the way for passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. The legislation would subject members of congress to tougher penalties for insider trading, including investigation and prosecution.
Insider trading laws apply to all Americans, but CBS’ “60 Minutes” in November said members of Congress get a pass, citing investment transactions by party leaders and a committee chairman in businesses about to be affected by pending legislation.
The broadcast report raised questions about trades of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; the husband of Democratic leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California; and Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.
All three denied using any insider information to make stock trades, but the broadcast set off a flurry of efforts in Washington to deal with the public perception.