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Public Statements

Stock Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LOEBSACK. I thank the gentlelady, Ms. Slaughter, and I thank her effort and the effort of Congressman Walz as well for initially bringing this bill forward at a time when we had not heard about some things we heard on ``60 Minutes,'' at a time when really nobody was paying attention to this issue. These two folks had the courage to bring this forward, and I want to thank them for that.

I was really proud to be the fourth cosponsor of this legislation back in May, at least the version we're talking about tonight, not the current version that's on the floor. I really think that it's absolutely urgent that we fix the current loophole that was already mentioned by so many of my colleagues, that allows Members of Congress to use information that they obtain in a nonpublic fashion for their own financial benefit.

This is something that on the face of it simply makes no sense that we should allow it to happen. Not in a democracy, not certainly in Congress, in this institution. It was mentioned that this institution is not much respected right now. In fact, the latest Gallup poll today showed Congress at 10 percent. It's not surprising given the stories that we've heard, given the problems that we've seen in this country, and especially when we have something like the STOCK Act in front of us, and there's bickering going on that this thing is not being passed as quickly as it should have been passed.

Now we find that my good friend and my colleague Senator Grassley from Iowa is upset as well because as was mentioned, the political intelligence loophole is there at the moment as well. That's got to stop.

We've got to pass the bill here in the House. We've got to do what we can to have a conference committee that's going to have real teeth, that's going to take care of that loophole. Senator Grassley is exactly right about that. We need to show the American people that we in Congress play by the same rules that they do, that we're not above the American people. So when we go home to our districts, as I do every week--every weekend I'm home, people have faith in us. They have confidence in the institution of Congress, and that they know, as we should, that we play by the same rules as they do.

I want to thank Congresswoman Slaughter and Congressman Walz for organizing this Special Order tonight. I'm very, very proud. This is only the second time that I've done this since I've been in Congress. This is my sixth year. But I couldn't be more proud than to come up here and speak on this very important issue, and as I said, I do it because the people in Iowa, the people in my district, tell me this is the right thing to do.

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