» Subscribe Today!
More of what you want to know.
The Daily News
X

Forgot your password?
Skip Navigation LinksHome >
VOL. 126 | NO. 244 | Thursday, December 15, 2011

Senate Panel Acts Against Lawmaker Insider Trading

LARRY MARGASAK | Associated Press

Print | Front Page | Email this story | Comments ()

WASHINGTON (AP) – A Senate committee Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit members of Congress and their employees from using nonpublic information to enrich themselves.

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee sent the legislation to the full Senate. A similar bill is before a House committee, but it's doubtful that the legislation will be considered this year.

The Senate bill would extend many of its restrictions throughout the federal government, but the potential impact is unclear because each agency already has restrictions on use of nonpublic information.

A provision that only applies to lawmakers would require disclosure of any stock or commodities transaction of $1,000 or more within 30 days. The reports would be available online. Currently, members of Congress and their top employees list their financial transactions on annual financial disclosure forms.

The committee also ordered a one-year congressional study on the role of so-called political intelligence firms, which try to learn inside information from lawmakers and their staffs and pass it along to private clients.

Original sponsors of the legislation sought to have these firms register with Congress, as lobbyists do now. However, committee Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., said more needs to be learned about these firms, and he promised to conduct a hearing next year.

The CBS show "60 Minutes" recently reported on members of Congress who may have made money using information learned through their congressional work. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., sponsored separate bills to ensure that federal law prohibiting this practice applied to Congress. Lieberman consolidated the two bills into a single piece of legislation.

"Members of Congress need to live by the same rules as everyone else, and it must be clear that public service can never be abused for private gain," Brown said. "With the approval of Congress at an all-time low, the full Senate now has the opportunity to pass this bill and begin rebuilding its reputation with the American people."

Gillibrand added, "This is not a Democratic or Republican idea. It is a common sense idea gaining momentum every day with bipartisan support."

The House bill, introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., has 235 co-sponsors from both parties.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Sign-Up For Our Free Email Edition
Get the news first with our daily email


 
Blog Get more from The Daily News
Blog News, Training & Events
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 76 166 10,044
MORTGAGES 105 195 13,070
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 40 2,578
BUILDING PERMITS 216 370 23,894
BANKRUPTCIES 82 152 9,685
BUSINESS LICENSES 42 51 3,654
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 103 264 14,227
MARRIAGE LICENSES 29 53 3,116

Weekly Edition

Issues | About

The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.