Senate approves bill banning insider trading by lawmakers, 96-3

The Senate voted 96 to 3 Thursday to prohibit members of Congress from using non-public information for personal financial gain but beat back a slew of amendments to further limit congressional perks.

The Senate action puts pressure on House Republicans to pass similar legislation to quell allegations of congressional self-dealing at a time when Congress’s approval rating is at an all-time low.

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House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorLobbying world The Trail 2016: 11 hours, 800 pages, 0 changed minds Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE (R-Va.) on Tuesday criticized the Senate legislation as weak. His staff said he would move a strengthened version of the bill to the House floor at the end of the month.

Senators voted for an amendment Thursday to expand the legislation’s reporting requirements to members of the executive branch.
 
The legislation would mandate that lawmakers report all major transactions within 30 days and file financial disclosure reports electronically.

But lawmakers defeated several proposals to significantly reform the perks and powers critics charge have a corrupting influence on Capitol Hill.

Senators voted down a bipartisan proposal to permanently ban earmarks as well as an amendment to require lawmakers and senior staff to divest of stocks or put their stock holdings in blind trusts.

The amendment sponsored by Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillBlame game begins on Zika funding Overnight Tech: Obama heads back to Silicon Valley | FCC meeting preview | Yahoo bans terror content | Zuckerberg on sit-in live streams Senator shares frustrating call with cable company MORE (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to permanently ban earmarks failed by a vote of 40-59.

A solid block of Republicans, including Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderBipartisan gun measure survives test vote Overnight Healthcare: GOP plan marks new phase in ObamaCare fight Stoddard: The great Trump rebellion MORE (Tenn.), Roy BluntRoy BluntOvernight Healthcare: Blame game over Zika funding Overnight Tech: Groups grade Clinton tech agenda | Facebook activates safety check in Istanbul | Another holdup for location data bill Blame game begins on Zika funding MORE (Mo.), Thad CochranThad CochranWeek ahead: Senators face unfinished defense work Week ahead: GOP to unveil ObamaCare replacement plan Senate panel breaks with House on cuts to IRS MORE (Miss.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsDemocrats stage protest during brief House session Reid: McConnell silence on Trump 'speaks volumes' The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Maine), John HoevenJohn HoevenDeath threats against senators remained on Twitter for 2 weeks Senate panel approves funding boost for TSA Overnight Energy: Senate Dems block energy, water bill a third time MORE (N.D.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), James InhofeJames InhofeMenendez holds the Senate floor to rail against Puerto Rico bill EPA proposes climate rule incentives despite court hold GOP chairman: EPA could ‘restructure every industrial sector’ MORE (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiGOP senator praises Supreme Court's abortion ruling Kerry visits Arctic Circle to see climate impacts Senate panel clears EPA spending bill, blocking rules MORE (Alaska), Pat RobertsPat RobertsUSDA extends comment period for 'certified organic' animal rule Senate contradicts itself on Gitmo GOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo MORE (Kan.), Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump hopes for boost from Brexit vote GOP senators: Brexit vote a wake-up call Sessions warns of 'radical' Clinton immigration policy MORE (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Roger WickerRoger WickerMenendez holds the Senate floor to rail against Puerto Rico bill Rubio will run for reelection Lawmakers push first responder network on rural service MORE (Miss.), voted to preserve Congress’s future power to earmark federal funds.

The amendment sponsored by Sens. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Senators rally for coal miner pension fix Trump says he will renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA MORE (D-Ohio) and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill's 12:30 Report Key Sanders ally: Time to get behind Clinton Dem Senate campaign chair endorses Clinton MORE (D-Ore.) requiring lawmakers and senior staff to divest of stocks lost 26 to 73.

Senate leaders denied Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulTrump flexes new digital muscle Republicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Hate TV customer service? So does your senator MORE (R-Ky.) a vote on an amendment to deny federal pensions to lawmakers who become lobbyists.

The anti-lobbying amendment raised the hackles of some senior lawmakers, including those planning to retire at the end of this year.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who will leave the Senate at the end of the 112th Congress, called the proposal “foolish.”

“Why should someone who has worked and accumulated some equity and is investing that in American businesses no longer be able to do that when they’re elected to public office?” he said Wednesday.

Leaders also denied a vote on an amendment sponsored by Sens. Michael BennetMichael BennetColorado GOP Senate race to unseat Dem incumbent is wide open Ted Cruz chooses sides in Colorado Senate primary The Trail 2016: Reversal of fortunes MORE (D-Colo.) and Jon TesterJon TesterBernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate Senators roll out bipartisan gun proposal Congress should stop government hacking and protect the Fourth Amendment MORE (D-Mo.) to permanently bar lawmakers from becoming lobbyists and restrict former staff from lobbying their old bosses in Congress for a period of six years.

Senators defeated another amendment sponsored by Paul to prohibit executive branch appointees and staff from having oversight, rule-making, and loan- or grant-making authority over companies in which they or their spouses have significant financial interest.

The amendment was designed to guard against the alleged improprieties stemming from the bankruptcy of Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer that received more than $500 million in federal loan guarantees.

A senior Senate Republican aide said GOP candidates would attack Democratic incumbents who voted against the so-called Solyndra amendment.

“Any Democrats who vote against this will face a bomb in the fall,” said the aide.

Brown, Tester and Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOvernight Finance: Trump threatens NAFTA withdrawal | Senate poised for crucial Puerto Rico vote | Ryan calls for UK trade deal | Senate Dems block Zika funding deal Overnight Energy: Volkswagen reaches .7B settlement over emissions Senators rally for coal miner pension fix MORE (D-W.Va.) voted against the amendment.

The Senate also rejected a resolution sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) calling for a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress.

But the underlying proposal to ban lawmakers from using private information they learn in the course of their duties to profit from stock trades or other transactions received broad bipartisan support.

“We tried to focus at the specific task at hand, closing loopholes to ensure that members of Congress play by the exact same rules as everyone else,” said Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDems celebrate anniversary of gay marriage ruling Sanders shares star power with NY House hopeful Bernie Sanders’s awkward return to the Senate MORE (D-N.Y.), a sponsor of the legislation.

“This sorely-needed bill will establish for the first time a clear fiduciary responsibility to the people we serve, removing any doubt that the [Securities and Exchange Commission] and [Commodities Futures Trading Commission] are empowered to investigate and prosecute cases involving insider trading of non-public information that we have access to through our jobs,” she said.

Only three senators voted against final passage: Sens. Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: I haven't seen 'self-discipline' from Trump McCain: No third-party foes coming for Trump Tough choice for vulnerable GOP senators: Embrace or reject Trump MORE (R-Okla.), Richard BurrRichard BurrLobbying world Overnight Cybersecurity: Hackers hit Brexit petition Senate Intel leader: ISIS using encrypted apps to plan attacks MORE (R-N.C.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

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