Today, President Barack Obama called for tighter controls on lawmakers in order to confront “the corrosive influence” of money and corporations in Washington D.C. as he signed into law an insider trading ban necessary to restore trust in the U.S. government.
Obama said the STOCK Act made it clear that members of Congress who might use non-public information to better their personal investments were in violation of the law.
Enforcement of the new law will begin in July.
President Obama also called for more restrictions, saying lawmakers shouldn’t be permitted to hold stocks in industries they might have the power to affect. He also said that those who bundle campaign funds for Congress shouldn’t be allowed to lobby elected representatives.
“The powerful shouldn’t get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else,” Obama said.
“If we expect that to apply to our biggest corporations and to our most successful citizens, it certainly should apply to our elected officials, especially at a time when there is a deficit of trust between this city and the rest of the country,” he added.
Obama had called for a tightening of insider trading rules during his 2012 State of the Union address back in January.
The STOCK Act, which passed the House of Representatives in February and the Senate last month, specifies that Securities and Exchange Commission prohibitions against trading based on non-public information applies to lawmakers and their staff members.
Back in November, an episode of 60 Minutes revealed dubious stock transactions by several members of Congress, including Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the bipartisan support of the STOCK Act “shows that we can come together and deliver results for the American people.”
More in the video below.
- Obama signs insider trading ban for lawmakers (business.financialpost.com)
- Obama Signs STOCK Act into Law (myfoxorlando.com)
- Obama Signs Ban On Congressional Insider Trading – Corruption Currents – WSJ (shortformblog.com)