The fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition in the U.S. House of Representatives praised Congress for passing and the President for signing into law today the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act -- a legislative initiative the Blue Dogs endorsed back in February.
The STOCK Act would bar Members of Congress, their staff and some federal workers from profiting from non-public information obtained through their jobs. The new law also bans Members and employees of Congress from sharing non-public information about pending legislation that could be used for investment purposes. Finally, the law also imposes stricter disclosure rules that require Members and congressional employees to publicly report stock, bond or futures transactions in excess of $1,000 within 90 days.
The Blue Dog Coalition endorsed the legislation in February and sent a letter on Feb. 1 urging House Majority Leader Eric Cantor to bring the bill to a floor vote "without delay." The text of that letter is available by clicking here. The bill eventually received overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
"The STOCK Act demonstrates just how effective bipartisanship and public support can be in getting an important piece of legislation quickly passed in Congress," said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. "Congress has lost the people's trust and bills like this will help bring accountability and transparency back to government. In the future, I hope Democrats and Republicans will keep working together in a constructive way -- just as they did on this bill -- to reform Congress, tackle our deficits and debt, create jobs and get this economy back on track."
"I'm glad to see this legislation signed into law, because members of Congress are elected to represent the people -- not line their own pockets," said Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga., Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy. "The STOCK Act will stop members of Congress from profiting through insider trading. I'm proud to have been a cosponsor of this common sense, bipartisan legislation that makes our nation's leaders play by the same rules as the people they represent."
"The STOCK Act is yet another key piece of legislation the Blue Dogs have stood behind to prevent abuse and restore accountability and trust in Washington," said Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. "This commonsense legislation takes critical steps to ensure that Members of Congress are being held to the same standards and playing by the same rules as everyone else."
"In an increasingly partisan Congress, I am pleased that Democrats and Republicans in both chambers were able to come together and pass the bipartisan STOCK Act," said Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., Blue Dog Whip. "Members of Congress should not be able to use any privileged knowledge of non-public information for personal gain, and it is important that we strengthen the disclosure requirements for investments in the stock market. This measure is an important step in restoring the American people's faith in Congress."