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 []