2:42 pm Mar. 22, 2012
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a ban on congressional insider trading today, voting 96-3 in favor of a pared-down House version of the STOCK Act.
The bill bans members and their family members from trading on nonpublic information, but excludes a provision in the Senate bill that would have forced "political intelligence consultants" to register as lobbyists.
That makes the bill a qualified win for a couple of New York members: Representative Louise Slaughter, who has been pushing for such a ban since long before "60 Minutes" exposed the practice last year, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who took up the cause in the Senate and authored the "political intelligence" provision that was removed by the House.
“Despite the fact that not all of the provisions I first proposed will soon become law, today I’m delighted,” said Slaughter in a statement.
“This strong bill with teeth is a good step forward to begin restoring our trust with the American people," said Gilibrand, who had tried to urge House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go along with the stricter bill.
Both Slaughter and Gillibrand said they plan to keep working for the stronger bills.
A spokesman for Gillibrand said she and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who cast one of three "no" votes, were preparing stand-alone legislation to regulate the political intelligence industry, though it seems unlikely the Republican House would pass a standalone bill after specifically stripping it from the current legislation.
The STOCK Act now goes to President Obama, who is expected to sign it.