U.S. Senate passes bill to ban insider tradingPublished 11:04am Monday, March 26, 2012
A bill to ban insider trading on Capitol Hill cleared the Senate Thursday by overwhelming majority and is en route to the Oval Office.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL, passed on a bipartisan vote of 96-3. The bill awaits only the president’s signature before it becomes law.
“This bill is a good first step towards restoring the American people’s faith in government and the work of democracy,” Walz said in a news release. “After years of fighting for this common sense reform, I’m pleased that it will finally become law.”
The STOCK bill prohibits members of Congress from using confidential information to trade stocks to their advantage. The president, vice president and Congress members are among the people the bill dictates must make financial disclosures within 30 days of the transactions.
Walz felt members of Congress should play by the same rules as everyone else when he re-introduced legislation last March, according to the news release.
“He has been fighting for it for years,” said Tony Ufkin, press secretary for Tim Walz. “Since his first term in office.” The original legislation was first introduced in 2006 by U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, Ufkin added.
“The fight does not end here,” Walz said. “I will continue to make government reform central in my mission.”
Prior to the Senate, the bill cleared the House on a significant majority of 417-2 when it passed on Feb. 9.
President Obama said in a statement Thursday he plans to sign the bill.
“Congress should do even more to help fight the destructive influence of money in politics and rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people,” he said.
He has 10 days to sign the bill, which goes into effect immediately after it is signed. The bill allows 18 months before requiring full compliance. At the end of that period, the public will be able to search through and download the electronic financial filings.