Lawmakers hit bipartisan note following STOCK Act passage


The legislation makes it clear that lawmakers cannot make financial trades based on private information, and requires financial-disclosure forms to be filed electronically, among other provisions. The measure now heads to President Obama for his signature. The president told lawmakers to pass such a bill during his State of the Union address. 

While members in both parties and chambers were eager to support the legislation, it was not without some controversy. Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyTrump officials ratchet up drug pricing fight Dems angered by GOP plan to hold judicial hearings in October American Bar Association dropping Kavanaugh review MORE (R-Iowa) was loudly critical of a decision by House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorTrump gives Dave Brat his 'total endorsement' Former TV journalist gives GOP rare dose of hope in Florida Dave Brat trailing in reelection bid MORE (R-Va.) to trim an amendment Grassley offered that would require political intelligence firms, which seek out information on lawmaking to sell to investors, to register as lobbyists do.

Grassley ended up being one of just three nays on the final bill, after Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMajor overhauls needed to ensure a violent revolution remains fictional Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees GOP has always been aggressive in trying to weaponize the system of judicial nominations MORE (D-Nev.) opted to simply take up the House version as opposed to establishing a conference committee where he could push to reinstate Grassley’s amendment. Instead, the Senate-approved bill simply requires a study on the industry by the Government Accountability Office.

Lieberman also opposed the registration requirement, but said he might be open to it down the road.

I was concerned that in the movement to add a lot to the bill … that it was beginning to tread on First Amendment rights to petition Congress, he said. I didn’t want to act in haste. There may be a problem here, but it needs more thoughtful study.

Cantor, who steered the bill through the House, also hailed the bipartisan nature of its passage.

The STOCK Act is a product of bipartisan efforts in the House and the Senate and will help restore the public’s trust in their elected officials, he said in a statement.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), the original sponsor of the legislation who was loudly and repeatedly critical of Cantor for trimming her similar political intelligence provision, struck a laudatory note following the Senate vote.

Today, we’ve passed one of the most bipartisan bills in this Congress, and I’m proud that my colleagues have joined me to make clear that the practice of insider trading in Congress needs to be outlawed once and for all,” she said. “This has been a long and turbulent debate, but one that we needed to have to serve our constituents. It is a fight I’m proud to have waged.”