Friday December 2,2011 : Momentum growing for measures to prevent US politicians from benefiting from "inside" knowledge
Momentum is growing in the US Congress for more restrictions on politicians who profit from the use of "non-public information" by way of investment deals and lucrative appointments, with over 100 Congressmen and women signing up for S. 1903, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK).
The move has found favour on Popvox, with a 97 percent positive vote, and is designed to: "…prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by Members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes."
The bill languished in relative obscurity and without support in Congress for years until a recent CBS Sixty Minutes report that included the stock dealings of arch online gambling opponent Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama and other politicians.. The program triggered wide and ongoing mainstream media coverage in the United States.
In a Congressional hearing on the bill Thursday the Republican senator from Maine, Susan Collins, said that Congress must re-evaluate its stock trading rules to assure the public that insider trading by members of the House and Senate does not occur.
“We must explore the application of existing laws to Congress and identify what actions may need to be taken to close possible loopholes,” she said.