Baird Renews Call To Ban Insider Trading On Capitol Hill
Today, Congressman Brian Baird (WA-03) renewed his call to apply insider trading laws to members of Congress and their staffs after a new Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that at least 72 congressional aides traded shares in companies overseen by their bosses.
"Members of Congress and their staffs should follow the same rules and standards as people in the corporate world follow," said Congressman Baird. "The American people deserve to have congressional members and their staffers working for their constituents, not using inside information worth millions of dollars for their personal gain. Banning insider trading on Capitol Hill would go a long way towards making Congress more transparent."
In January 2009, Congressman Baird and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) introduced H.R. 682, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act), to stop insider trading on Capitol Hill. The STOCK Act would bar members of Congress and their staffs from buying and trading stocks using nonpublic information they obtain through their positions. Eight other members of Congress have joined Congressman Baird and Congresswoman Slaughter to cosponsor the STOCK Act.
H.R. 682 has been referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Rights, as well as the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management.
Short of passing the STOCK Act, Congressman Baird says that Congress should amend its official ethics guidelines and rules to require disclosures of all trades within 48 hours, which would make improper trading more easily detectible.