Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown has introduced legislation to stop insider trading among members of Congress, who are currently thought to be exempt from the practice.
Senator Brown says he was surprised to learn that insider trading by members of Congress, their families, or staff using non-public information gained through their Congressional work is not clearly prohibited by law. Brown testified in Washington D.C. before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.
"Trust in Congress is at an all time low and it's more important than ever to have members of Congress affirm that we live by those very same laws that we pass for everyone else in our country."
Brown's legislation, known as the STOCK Act, is limited to active trading. Under its provisions, members and employees of Congress would be prohibited from making any trades based on nonpublic information. They would also have to report any trades over $1,000. The bill is prompted by news reports that a Republican Congressman from Alabama traded on information he received in private briefings at the height of the financial crisis, earning him nearly $30,000. A measure similar to Brown's was introduced by a Democratic Congresswoman from New York. Both would essentially ban lawmakers from using non-public information for buying, selling or trading stocks.