Jaime Herrera Beutler announced today that she is cosponsoring a bill to prevent insider trading in Congress. The bill, entitled the "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge" Act (STOCK), is similar to the legislation championed by her predecessor in Southwest Washington's 3rd Congressional District, Brian Baird.
The STOCK Act is a bipartisan bill that would prohibit Members and employees of Congress from profiting from nonpublic information they obtain through their positions. The STOCK Act was reintroduced by Rep. Timothy Walz (D-MN) earlier this year (bill details available here).
Under the currently proposed STOCK Act, Members of Congress, their staff, and Executive Branch staff:
· Are prohibited from buying or selling securities, swaps, or commodity futures based on nonpublic information they obtain through their jobs;
· Cannot share non-public information about legislative action for purposes of investing or profiting from investment;
· Are required to report investment transactions valuing in excess of $1,000 within 90 days (transactions involving blind trusts and mutual funds are excluded).
The bill also requires agencies specializing in political intelligence that get information directly from Congress to register with the House and Senate, similar to lobbying organizations.
"Brian Baird deserves a lot of credit for highlighting this needed reform -- both as a Member of Congress, and recently as a regular citizen," said Herrera Beutler. "There's no place for insider trading in this country -- not on Wall Street, and most certainly not in Congress. We've all seen the fallout when folks in privileged positions put their own profit above ethics. I hope we pass this bill to ensure Congress keeps its focus on serving the public good."