Today, Mark Udall called on his colleagues to support the bipartisan Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, a bill that would bar lawmakers from trading stocks based on information they learn during congressional briefings and other work.
While insider trading is already illegal, the bill adds teeth to the law and clarifies that lawmakers and their staff must be held accountable for trading on non-public information they learn through their work in Congress. The STOCK Act empowers the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to investigate suspected illegal trading by members of Congress, staff and their families. The bill also makes it clear that such acts are a violation of Congress's own rules, and requires prompt public disclosure of investment transactions by members of Congress.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that members of Congress, their families or their staff would trade on and benefit from information they learn in the course of their duties - information they have that no other American has access to. Congress is not above the law; Coloradans won't tolerate this kind of activity, and the STOCK Act makes it crystal clear that it is illegal and a violation of Congress's own rules," Udall said. "I'm extremely glad to join senators from both parties to fight for this bill. It adds teeth to the law, and will help ensure members of Congress are looking after the needs of the American people - and not themselves."
The STOCK Act:
Bars members of Congress, their families and their staff from buying or selling securities on the basis of knowledge gained through their congressional service - or from using that knowledge to tip off anyone else.
Empowers the SEC and CFTC to investigate suspected cases.
Makes trading on inside information a violation of Congress's own rules.
Requires lawmakers to disclose major transactions within 30 days and make this information available online for their constituents to see, improving oversight and accountability from the current annual reporting requirements.