The STOCK Bill Has Passed The Senate

The Hill reported at 6 o’clock tonight that the STOCK bill has passed the Senate by a vote of 96-3. The main purpose of the bill is to prevent lawmakers from using inside information for personal gain in trading stocks and bonds. However, there were a number of other provisions in the bill that would limit some of the extra benefits lawmakers receive that were defeated.

The article reports:

But the underlying proposal to ban lawmakers from using private information they learn in the course of their duties to profit from stock trades or other transactions received broad bipartisan support.

“We tried to focus at the specific task at hand, closing loopholes to ensure that members of Congress play by the exact same rules as everyone else,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the legislation.

“This sorely-needed bill will establish for the first time a clear fiduciary responsibility to the people we serve, removing any doubt that the SEC and CFTC are empowered to investigate and prosecute cases involving insider trading of non-public information that we have access to through our jobs,” she said.

Only three senators voted against final passage: Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

Voting against this bill would be a definite liability for any Senator running for re-election in 2012. The bill was originally sponsored by Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts after he learned that insider trading was going on. The 60 Minutes piece on insider trading by Congress which aired a few months ago galvanized public opinion against the practice.

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