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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHELBY. Madam President, I rise today to talk about the amendment that I have offered, No. 1491, to the STOCK Act.

Right now, the STOCK Act, as it is written, does not apply to the public disclosure requirements to the executive branch or independent agencies.

The amendment that I have offered this morning ensures the public disclosure of all trading by senior government officials. Yes, I will say it again. My amendment ensures the public disclosure of all trading by senior government officials.

This is a very reasonable amendment, as it is limited to the executive branch and independent agency personnel who are already subject to the reporting requirements.

My amendment merely expands the enhanced disclosure requirement under the STOCK Act to these current filers. Without this amendment, it would be impossible for the public to know whether the executive branch officials are complying with the STOCK Act. The public should be able to monitor trades of all executive and legislative branch officials in the same manner. Let's not make Congress transparent while leaving the executive branch and independent agencies in the dark.

Ironically, the disclosure provisions of the STOCK Act currently do not apply to the Securities and Exchange Commission, their employees, and so forth, which is the body that will be responsible for enforcing such provisions on Congress. That is nonsense. The SEC, which has access to vast financial markets information, should be held to the same standards it has been charged with enforcing.
My amendment will apply the disclosure provisions of the STOCK Act to all branches, ensuring transparency for all in government.

I appreciate the willingness of the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to work with me. I look forward to working with them more to improve public disclosure for both the executive and legislative branches.

I yield the floor.


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