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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROWN of Massachusetts. Mr. President, I enjoyed that back and forth debate very much. I appreciate the spirit in which that amendment was offered. I wrote the original bill. It was my bill and Senator Gillibrand then filed a bill. We went through the committee process, and the original intent of the bill was to deal with insider trading. It applied to all Federal employees, not just congressional, so it is an insider trading bill.

The spirit of what we have been trying to do over the last day and a half is to address issues equally so as to eliminate all appearances of impropriety and for any branch of government to not play by the same rules as the American people would play by. So every single amendment that has come through this Chamber right now has not only been expanded to cover, obviously, those in the Senate and the House of Representatives but also equally to the executive branch.

So if this amendment is going to have any chance of passing, I can assure you I will not support it unless it specifically also applies to the executive branch. If she wants to amend it or modify it to include that, then it will have a good chance of passing; if not, I will do my best to prohibit it because it needs to be applied to everybody. For us to come and say we need to come up with proof that somebody is doing something or not doing something--listen, it is no different than what we are trying to do on the insider trading bill. There is no one who has been brought to court and found criminally responsible. We are dealing on inference and reference and innuendo. That is why we are trying to reestablish the trust with the American people to do something that would not traditionally have been done but not for a 60-minute speech. So if we knew something was happening in the mortgage industry, great, let's let it apply across the board and not exclude a group of Federal employees for some particular political reason.

Once again, if she wants to amend it, great. If not, I am going to do my best to make it amended so we can have it apply equally if we are going to ultimately take it up.


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