House delays requirement for feds 
to make their financial forms public

The House on Friday voted to delay implementation of part of the the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK Act) that would require senior government officials to make their financial disclosure forms public.

In a quick unanimous consent vote, the House approved S. 3625, which was introduced just last week by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). The Senate approved the bill last week, so House passage sends the bill to President Obama for his signature into law.

By Friday afternoon, President Obama had signed the bill into law.

Under the bill, the requirement that disclosure forms for senior government officials must be posted online would be delayed until Dec. 8, 2012. The bill was meant to ensure that the personal information of senior government workers is protected; however, the delayed enforcement does not apply to the president, vice president, members of Congress or people running for Congress.

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"Through today's action, over 28,000 of our senior federal workers' personal financial information will be protected," Rep. Jim MoranJim MoranTen House seats Dems hope Trump will tilt The Hill's 12:30 Report Big names free to lobby in 2016 MORE (D-Va.) said immediately after the vote.

The bill also requires a study from the National Academy of Public Administration to examine the issues raised by the publication of personal information.

"I am confident that the National Academy study will show that this policy is unnecessary and potentially very harmful," Moran said. "Congress now has the time necessary to move forward with a permanent fix to safeguard our federal employees' personal information."

The STOCK Act was seen as a way to make the federal government more responsive to charges that government officials were benefiting from inside information, which some said could be used for financial gain on Wall Street. But earlier this month, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the law because of language requiring the publication of personal data on an estimated 28,000 employees, and said this would violate their privacy.

Signing the bill into law is seen as a way around that court ruling.

The House approved the bill in a pro forma session that also saw passage of two other bills. One is an amended version of S. 743, which extends "whistleblower" protections to federal employees to reveal certain information.

The other was S. 3624, which lets states issue driver's licenses to military personnel serving in those states.

— This story was updated at 3:47 p.m. to note that Obama signed into law the legislation adjusting the STOCK Act.

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