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Old 04-22-2013, 11:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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Posts: 43,095

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Default Insider Trading: We can, but you can't

To that end, late last week, your congress quickly approved a measure that modified (aka, killed) a part of the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act ), which was only enacted a year ago. The STOCK Act was supposed to address shady stock trades based on insider information.

Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) is taking credit for sponsoring the measure, but clearly he got no pushback from either side of the aisle. Check out the fast movement of this bill, and tell me if you’ve seen anything fly through like this in recent years, sans committee referrals and Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) deep debate over what he can even allow for a debate about a vote:

4/11/2013 Introduced in Senate
4/11/2013 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Introduced in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
4/12/2013 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed without objection.
4/12/2013 Presented to President.

On Tuesday the 15th, the President signed the legislation.

The Sunlight Foundation notes that the amendment passed with unanimous consent, though many members had gone home already. Huh. This doesn’t seem to work for measures that protect the security of the American people, like say, jobs. The Sunlight Foundation also pointed out what might be seen as a precursor of times to come, “The bill was not available to the public on the Library of Congress website until after the vote.” NPR noted that it took the House all of 30 seconds. “NPR’s Tamara Keith tells us the House procedure took exactly 30 seconds.”

The STOCK Act took aim at insider trading and insider information, and also required some 28,000 federal employees from the congressional and executive branches post their conflict of interest disclosures online. It followed “a ’60 Minutes’ report on how many members of Congress are making money on stock trades that are illegal for everyone else, correspondent Nancy Cordes reports a bill to ban lawmakers from insider trading is now on the fast track.”
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