By Andrea Salazar
Senators from both sides of the aisle are contemplating an insider trading bill aimed at members of Congress, after a “60 Minutes” report alleged that some Congressional leadership may have profited from insider information.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) testified in front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Thursday promoting their versions of the STOCK Act – bills banning Hill lawmakers from using insider information to benefit financially.
“The American people need to know that their elected leaders play by the exact same rules that they play by,” Gillibrand said. “They also deserve the right to know their lawmakers’ only interest is what’s best for the country, not their own financial interests.”
Brown urged support for the STOCK Act as a way of bettering public perception of the legislative branch.
“I believe that the vast majority of members and staff of Congress are here to serve their constituents’ best interests, not to line their pockets,” Brown said in his written testimony. “But by explicitly prohibiting the use of material nonpublic information for personal gain, we will vastly increase transparency while restoring some public faith in Congress.”
Emphasizing that there are differences between his bill and Gillibrand’s, Brown urged the committee to take the best parts of each bill to create an effective bipartisan and bicameral STOCK Act.
Law professors also testified at the Thursday hearing and gave suggestions for the language of the bill.
Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) asked for a new draft of the bill by mid-December.
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