Congress Passes Insider Trading Bill

Legislation banning insider trading by members of Congress is headed to the Oval Office, without the provision calling for reporting of political intelligence activities.

President Obama has said he will sign the bill.

As we wrote in February, the bill passed by the Senate included a requirement that people trading in advance knowledge of government actions should register and report their activities, in much the same way that lobbyists do.

The House version of the bill excluded the requirement. The Senate opted to go with the House version rather than fight for the provision.

“It’s once again an example of Wall Street being heard in Washington, and maybe the common person throughout the United States not having [their] will expressed,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who had written the provision.

The legislation prohibits members of Congress, their staffs and officials in the executive and judicial branches from trading in stocks and securities based on confidential information they receive through their government posts.

Both Grassley and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) have introduced separate bills for registration of political intelligence operatives.

“I’ve learned that you’re never truly defeated in a legislature until you give up,” said Slaughter, who first sponsored insider trading legislation six years ago.

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