02/13/12 Last week, Congressman Joe Donnelly voted for The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, H.R. 1148, which would prohibit insider trading by Members of Congress, congressional employees, or other federal employees.

Although Donnelly is pleased that the bill passed the House, he would have preferred an even stronger bill. A key provision, included in the version of the bill that passed the Senate, was removed from the bill before it was brought up for a vote in the House. This provision would have shed light on the “political intelligence” industry, which sells insider political information to Wall Street stock traders.

“I’m pleased that this bill passed because Members of Congress and their staffs should be prohibited from using any nonpublic information received in the course of their work for financial gain,” said Donnelly. “But, I am also disappointed that House Republican leadership removed a key provision that would have shed light on the shadowy industry that sells insider political information to Wall Street stock traders.”

The STOCK Act would do the following:

  • Prohibit Members and employees of Congress and other federal employees from making private profit, including through stocks and security trading, based on nonpublic information they obtain because of their status;
  • Require Members and employees of Congress to report any purchase, sale, or exchange of any stock, bond, or commodity future transaction within 45 days;
  • Terminate Members’ pension benefits if convicted of insider trading – even while serving in a subsequent elected office;
  • Prohibit the payment of bonuses to executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while these enterprises remain in conservatorship.

Donnelly signed on to co-sponsor this legislation late last year. Also, last week, Donnelly joined colleagues in writing a letter to Republican leadership urging them to allow the House of Representatives to vote on it.

The bill passed the House 417 to 2. It passed the Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 96 to 3. If Senate leadership decides to accept the House’s changes, the bill will be sent to the president for his signature. Alternatively, the bill could move to a conference committee to reconcile differences between the Senate and House versions.