Senate Inches Closer To Ending Insider Trading By Lawmakers

Sometimes good things come out of Presidential election year grandstanding. After years of reaping the benefits of a loophole that allowed insider trading by members of the Senate and House of Representatives (and their aides), legislation to stop this behavior is closer to becoming reality.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 93-2 in favor of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which would put an end to politicians profiting by using insider information.

“The American people need to know that their elected leaders play by the exact same rules that they play by,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of NY.

The two senators who voted against the STOCK Act were Richard Burr of North Carolina and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. The former said “no” because he believes that existing laws already address insider trading by lawmakers. The latter tried to explain his vote by asking, “What happens the first time somebody doesn’t make that 30-day deadline? They violated the statute in law… What are we doing? You’re not going to have anybody up here except the super, super-rich because nobody is going to say, ‘I can’t put all my money away and not trade.’ It’s nuts.”

The STOCK Act has been kicking around Capitol Hill since the days when The O.C. was on the air and Donovan McNabb was a good quarterback, but gained no traction until a 60 Minutes report about the insider trading loophole last November.

Senate votes to move STOCK Act [Politico.com]

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  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Am I paddling the “I’ll believe it when I see it” canoe by myself?

  2. akronharry says:

    Tom Coburn of Oklahoma:”What happens the first time somebody doesn’t make that 30-day deadline? They violated the statute in law… What are we doing? You’re not going to have anybody up here except the super, super-rich because nobody is going to say, ‘I can’t put all my money away and not trade.’ It’s nuts.”
    Tom: Are you saying that you are benefiting from insider information? WTF?

  3. Coffee says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchers?

    The question I have is that after this bill passes, who will be investigating Congressmen? The SEC? I hope they’re not expected to police themselves, because a law is only as strong as those who enforce it. I don’t think I wear a tinfoil hat, and I read all the time about this law or that law that a Congressman violates, but nothing short of scandalous felony seems to get any traction as far as investigation and prosecution are concerned.

    That said, at least signing this into law is a step in the right direction, and hopefully it will have teeth.

    • crispyduck13 says:

      For reals. Especially because insider trading is already illegal, and for some reason only us non-government types are the ones that you see splashed all over the news and getting 10 year prison sentences. If whoever normally enforces this is already (apparently) turning their head the other way for senetors, etc, what makes us think it will be any different with this new law?

  4. Conformist138 says:

    I’m trying to understand what Tom Corburn meant. I see real words, but they are strung together into nonsense.

    It almost sounds like he’s worried that only absurdly rich people would remain in politics because the merely obscenely rich wouldn’t be able to afford living without the gains that come from being able to trade in unfair ways. I… I just… can’t… *twitch*

    I think my head is going to explode.

  5. kc2idf says:

    You’re not going to have anybody up here except the super, super-rich because nobody is going to say, ‘I can’t put all my money away and not trade.’ It’s nuts.

    Er?

    So people who don’t trade are super-rich?

    I don’t have the capital to trade, ergo I have to put all my money away and not trade. This is hardly a definition of super-rich.

    • Bakkster says:

      Apparently Congress hasn’t heard of these fancy things called ‘mutual funds’, which let you invest in the stock market without having any direct input into individual stocks.

      Either that, or it’s just less profitable than insider trading…

  6. crispyduck13 says:

    “You’re not going to have anybody up here except the super, super-rich because nobody is going to say, ‘I can’t put all my money away and not trade.’ It’s nuts.”

    First of all, I don’t understand what the fuck this guy is trying to say. From the rest of his little rant there it appears he’s accidentally used a double negative.
    Second of all, he’s a goddamn idiot.

    Yes there are existing laws (like the ones used to punish the rest of us normies) but apparently they were being selectively enforced. They could’ve saved a bunch of money and figured out how to fix that instead of wasting months making up this cutesy acronym.

  7. Kuri says:

    Yet lawmakers are going to continue doing this unabated because they managed to sneak in a loophole somewhere, or have a way to get off on a technicality.

  8. Cicadymn says:

    Well at least Coburn voted against the NDAA and SOPA/PIPA

    Still goes to show you that no matter what they’ll always try make things benefit themselves.

  9. sir_eccles says:

    Uh oh, does that mean John Boehner is gonna have to sell his Keystone XL shares?

  10. centurion says:

    Dumb idea, who will want to be a congressman if you can’t get rich from it?

  11. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    The fact that Congress has to have this debate with itself in the first place, and only after being outed, is evidence that it no longer works for the American people.

    The only lines that matter anymore are economic lines. Forgot Rep and Dem, conservative and liberal…the only teams on the field now are the 1% and the 99%. If you still think you’re playing for one of the other teams the media put you on, you’re mistaken.

  12. miltona says:

    I think what Tom Coburn is trying to say is he’s not super rich, he’s just rich. He’s an OB. I guess he needs to be able to trade to work in the Senate?

  13. pythonspam says:

    “You’re not going to have anybody up here except the super, super-rich because nobody is going to say, ‘I can’t put all my money away and not trade.’ It’s nuts.”

    THIS is exactly what we need in our government. Citizen-servants who represent the common man and want to do it to serve their fellow citizens, not to serve their own bank accounts.

    • Donathius says:

      They all feel like they need to maintain lavish homes in the DC area in addition to their home-state residences. Therefore they justify making stupid amounts of money at our expense.

      Check out Jason Chaffetz from Utah – dude sleeps on a cot in his office when he’s in Washington.

  14. AngryK9 says:

    Just another law that will be made by lawmakers which will exempt the lawmakers.

  15. Promethean Sky says:

    “The American people need to know that their elected leaders play by the exact same rules that they play by.”

    BWAHAHAHAHA. Like that will ever happen.