House to move on insider-trading ban by end of February

Efforts to explicitly prohibit lawmakers and their staff from enriching themselves based on private information obtained while serving in Congress have received bipartisan support in recent months. The push came primarily after a "60 Minutes" report suggested that several top members from both parties had made financial trades or decisions that reaped financial benefits and seemed to be made based on insider knowledge.

While lawmakers are not exempt from existing insider trading laws, no member or a staff member has ever been prosecuted for violating them by taking advantage of inside political grist. With the public opinion of Congress at historic lows, some members have been eager to get a law on the books expressly prohibiting the practice.

Next week, the Senate is planning to take up a bill introduced by Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices Fears mount that Obama will change course on Israel in final months MORE (D-N.Y.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.). Similar legislation was being fast-tracked in the House by Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer BachusSpencer BachusThe FDA should approve the first disease-modifying treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Study: Payday lenders fill GOP coffers Pope Francis encourages building bridges to address challenges  MORE (R-Ala.), who was among those singled out in the CBS report. However, progress on the bill was slowed after House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRyan seeks to avoid Boehner fate on omnibus GOPers fear trillion-dollar vote is inevitable Insiders dominate year of the outsider MORE (R-Va.) said it needed to be considered more fully.

Cantor's office reiterated his commitment to the legislation Thursday.

"Leader Cantor plans to move an expanded version of the STOCK Act through the House to make it clear that those in Congress are subject to the same laws as everyone else," said a Cantor aide. "He strongly supports increased disclosure to prevent any sense of impropriety and ensure the public’s confidence and trust in our elected officials.”