Friday, November 18, 2011

New life for the STOCK Act

No doubt embarrassed by the Nov. 11 CNBC interview with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and alarmed by the Nov. 13 report on the matter on “60 Minutes,” some 61 House members have signed on to co-sponsor the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, a long-languishing piece of legislation that would stop members of Congress and their staffers from trading in securities of companies up for investigation by Congress.

The bill, championed principally by New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, will receive a congressional hearing by the House Financial Services Committee sometime after the Thanksgiving recess, according to a statement released Thursday on Slaughter’s official House Web site.

“I'm delighted that the House Financial Services Committee is going to hold a hearing on the STOCK Act and for the groundswell of support we've received in the past week,” said Slaughter, in the statement.

“... I'm particularly pleased because my colleagues are really starting to understand that light needs to be shed on insider trading and political intelligence which has been creeping into the halls of Congress for years now. There are 535 of us privileged enough to serve in this Congress and the fact that any one of us would think to personally profit off the information that's shared with us upsets me greatly.”

Slaughter’s Web site said that “[i]n the 24 hours after the 60 Minutes piece, 9 more members signed on and many more were on the way.”

“The STOCK Act now has 61 co-sponsors and for the first time several members of the Senate have indicated their support.”

Image credits: "60 Minutes" clock: © 2011 CBS News. Slaughter: Official House photograph (public domain).

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