(WASHINGTON) — The STOCK Act, a House-passed legislation to ban members of Congress from benefiting from insider stock trading, was approved by the Senate Thursday 96-3 and will go to President Obama for his signature.
The bill reaffirms that members of Congress, congressional staff, and executive and judicial branch officials are not exempt from the insider trading prohibitions arising under securities and commodities laws.
Members of Congress have consistently cited this legislation as one that could help restore some of the public’s confidence and trust.
“I believe by the overwhelming vote today that we have sent a message to the American people that we recognize that elected office is a place not for personal gain but for public service,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said following the vote.
The bill requires members and senior congressional staff to report the purchase or sale of securities exceeding $1,000 no later than 30 days after the transaction. It also requires senior executive branch officials to disclose their home mortgages.
“I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else,” Sen. Scott Borwn, R-Mass., said. “Insider trading is wrong, whether it happens on Wall Street or on Capitol Hill. The passage of this legislation is an important step toward restoring trust in our government.”
The bill bans this group from participating in initial public offerings in any manner other than what is available to the members of the public. It strengthens laws relating to denial of congressional pensions to members who commit public corrupt crimes while serving in Congress and will deny pensions to former members who commit those crimes while serving in public offices.
The legislation also prohibits executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from receiving bonuses while the firms remain in federal conservatorship.
This bill is now headed towards the president’s desk for final signature.
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