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Public Statements

Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DUFFY. I appreciate the gentleman for yielding.

I think we are all aware that this issue came out when Peter Schweizer wrote a book called ``Throw Them All Out.'' After that, ``60 Minutes'' did a special story about how Members of Congress were benefiting by using insider information or information that the rest of the public wasn't privy to. In the succeeding several months, I think that story has created a deficit of trust between Members of Congress and the American constituents.

I introduced a version that would deal with this issue, I think, very simply. I thought what we should do is mandate that Members put their assets into a blind trust so there will be a bright line between information that they have as Members and their trading portfolios, and if they were to choose not to do that, they would have to aggressively disclose every trade within 3 days.

Now, my bill is not on the floor today, but the version that we have here today, I think, is much improved from the original version that came out. We have an improved reporting requirement that goes, not from 3 days, but from 90 days to 30 days, which is much improved from the original legislation. We've included the executive branch, which I think is imperative; and we have language that uses the blind trust as a potential opt-out if you're not actually managing your funds.

As we gather around and debate and vote on this bill, I think it is important to know that this is the first step, a step in the right direction. Then as we come together and reevaluate what we've done here, I think there will be many more steps to take to ensure that Members of Congress don't profit from the information they come across as Members of this institution.


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