Did you know that Congress and the President quietly repealed misguided aspects of the Stock Act a few days ago? I thought not.
Late in 2011, CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired a sensational news story detailing allegations that lawmakers were profiting from investments spawned by non-public information. Harry Reid seized the moment, and in a highly political calculation, brought the STOCK Act (S. 2038) to the Senate floor. The bill banned lawmakers and some aides from buying or selling stocks and other securities based on confidential information. As a means of enforcement, the bill required those effected to report stock and bond transactions within 30 days of the transaction. The bill sailed through the Senate and passed 96-3 on February 2.
Not to be outdone in the game of political grandstanding, the House passed a similar bill under suspension 417-2, circumventing the entire committee process. Differences between the House and the Senate were resolved by unanimous consent and the bill was signed by the President in March.