Senate and House Pass Insider Trading Bill

The Senate passed S. 2038, a bill which prohibits members of Congress, employees of Congress, and other Federal employees  from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal benefit, and for other purposes. The measure requires most federal employees to submit financial disclosure reports within 30 days of trading in stocks and bonds, and prohibits them from trading in companies in which their official acts have an interest. An amendment to the bill prohibits bonuses be given to executives of FannieMae and FreddieMac while those agencies are in conservatorship.

The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 96-3, with Senators Bingaman (D-NM), Burr (R-NC), and Coburn (R-OK) dissenting.

The House passed the same bill by a vote of 417-2, with Republicans John Campbell (CA-48) and Rob Woodall (GA-7) voting nay.

The dissenting voters based their votes on principle, saying that the law was an affront to honest Congressmen, assuming that they would engage in insider trading without evidence. There already exist laws and ethics codes under which they can be prosecuted, given positive evidence.


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