Most folks I have talked with were shocked by the CBS 60 Minutes report on alleged insider trading by members of Congress. Since that report, momentum has been growing for an effort to ban members and Congressional staff from trading stocks or commodities based on confidential information they have on pending bills. I was totally unaware that a member of Congress could do what no other American citizen could do when it comes to insider trading.
A bill, called the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” sponsored by Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., would ban buying or selling stocks or commodities by a member of Congress or staffer who has “material nonpublic information” regarding legislative action that relates to a specific company or commodity. It would also prohibit House members and staff from disclosing information about any pending bill or amendment relating to a particular company or commodity if the member or staffer “has reason to believe” that the information will be used to buy or sell the company’s stock or the commodity. This bill should be passed without delay!
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