Congressman Bill Owens voted today for the House amendment to S. 2038, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which would prohibit public servants from using nonpublic information derived from their official positions for personal benefit. Owens cosponsored the original House legislation (H.R. 1148) in November and signed a discharge petition last week demanding GOP House Leadership bring that bill to the floor for a vote. The House amendment to the Senate version of the STOCK Act passed the House today by a vote of 417-2.
“House passage of this bill is a step in the right direction, although I am concerned that House leadership removed some important provisions through this House amendment to the Senate bill,” said Owens. “It is my hope that, as the Senate and House bills are reconciled, we see a stronger version of the STOCK Act signed into law than what passed the House today.”
The House amendment to S. 2038 eliminated a provision in the Senate bill that requires political intelligence consultants or companies and law firms employing these consultants to register and disclose the clients for whom they did research if they sell that research to hedge funds or others using such information to inform investment decisions. The House amendment also removed a Senate provision that would give prosecutors tools to identify, investigate, and prosecute criminal conduct by public officials.
“What the House passed today is a good start, but I will continue to push for these Senate provisions to be included before it is signed into law by the President,” added Owens.
The House amendment to S. 2038 clarifies that Members of Congress, congressional staff, Executive Branch officials, and judicial officers are subject to insider trading rules, and requires disclosure of the purchase of sale of stocks, bonds, commodities futures and other securities within 30 days of notification of the transaction. The House amendment also expands a ban on pensions for Members of Congress convicted of a felony.
For months, Owens pushed House Leadership to bring the STOCK Act to the floor for a vote. President Obama pledged during this year’s State of the Union address to sign the STOCK Act if it reaches his desk.
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