White House hits House GOP for changes to STOCK Act

White House press secretary Jay Carney accused House Republicans of "caving to pressure from Wall Street lobbyists" by removing a provision from upcoming legislation that would require political intelligence firms to be registered as lobbyists.

Carney told reporters that Republicans were simply weakening the legislation.

"I was shocked to see that even this simple bill that would ensure that everyone plays by the rules is weakened," he said. "This should not be a partisan issue."


House Republicans unveiled their version of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act Tuesday evening, and removed that provision from the version that passed in the Senate.

The office of House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorWhite House says bills are bipartisan even if GOP doesn't vote for them Trump the X-factor in Virginia governor race Conservative House Republican welcomes Clark as chief of US Chamber MORE (R-Va.) defended the move Wednesday, saying the registration requirement was overbroad and members on both sides of the aisle had expressed concerns about who would be subject to it. Cantor has maintained his version of the bill, which is set for a House vote Thursday, is "strengthened and expanded" and removes "unworkable" provisions.

In particular, Cantor has said he wanted to ensure that the same restrictions being applied to members of Congress under the bill would also apply to members of the executive branch.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyNumber of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing The Hill's Morning Report - GOP pounces on Biden's infrastructure plan MORE (R-Iowa) harshly criticized the House version of the bill for not including his amendment requiring the registration of political intelligence firms, which gather private congressional information and sell it to financial firms looking to make profitable trades on it.

"It’s astonishing and extremely disappointing that the House would fulfill Wall Street’s wishes by killing this provision," he said in a statement. "If Congress delays action, the political intelligence industry will stay in the shadows, just the way Wall Street likes it.”

President Obama called on Congress to pass legislation blocking insider trading by lawmakers in his State of the Union address, and lawmakers responded with a standing ovation. "Send me a bill that bans insider trading by members of Congress, and I will sign it tomorrow," he said.

The Senate easily cleared the legislation last week, as it garnered 96 votes.

—Amie Parnes contributed to this story.