Senate to look at congressional insider-trading bill

January 26, 2012

A Senate bill that would ban members of Congress from buying and selling stock based on nonpublic information they learn as they craft legislation will be taken up by the chamber Monday.

The bill was passed by the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last month. The proposed law also would require that stock trades be reported in public disclosure statements within 30 days.

President Obama drew attention to the bill during his State of the Union address Tuesday. “Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress,” he said. “I will sign it tomorrow.”

After the address, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said he would act quickly on the legislation, called the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. On Thursday, he scheduled the Senate vote. If 60 members vote in favor of the bill proceeding, the full Senate will take it up.

The House version, calling for disclosure every 90 days, has been referred to six committees, none of which has voted on it.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, said last month that he plans to either amend the current House bill or introduce a new measure that would also include a ban on members using inside information to enter into land deals.

Kimberly Kindy is a government accountability reporter at The Washington Post.
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