"Let's be honest, people are equally if not more concerned about the kind not cronyism they hear about over at the White House," said the minority leader. "The ... important question at this point is whether the executive branch is willing to play by the same rules."
The pending STOCK Act, designed to affirm that it is illegal for lawmakers to engage in illegal insider trading, has been stalled in the Senate chamber for three days in part because of a disagreement over a number of proposed amendments, including several offered by Republicans that would extend the law's reporting requirements to White House officials.
McConnell and other Republicans have pointed out that officials in the executive branch also have access to privileged information that could be improperly used for personal enrichment.
"Shouldn't the president's chief of staff be held to the same standard as a legislative director to a freshman senator?" he asked.
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) on Wednesday fought back against some Republican proponents of extending the law to cover the White House, saying it was important that Congress first set the example by cleaning up its own act.
There have been no visible signs of progress on the STOCK Act in the Senate since Monday, when the bill cleared its first procedural hurdle by a vote of 93-2.