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CQ Roll Call: Insider Trading Bill Passes By Wide Margin

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David Hawkings, CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing

A bill to strengthen regulations aginst insider trading by members of Congress and their staffs is on the way to the House of Representatives on  a bipartisan 96-3 vote, offering a stark contrast to some other efforts on the Hill in recent months. CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing Editor David Hawkings talks with WAMU 88.5 Morning Edition host Matt McCleskey about that bill and other news in Congress this week. Here are the highlights: 

What the STOCK Act actually does: "The core of it … would be to make clear that members of Congress are covered by the same insider trading laws as everyone else," Hawkings says. "The sort of info about pending legislation or political moves that could affect stock prices, the idea here is that they're not allowed to trade on that anymore." 

Why it passed by such a large margin: "This bill was given an opening, and lawmakers concluded that a little self flagellation would be good politics and would be ultimately harmless," Hawkings says.

Prospects for passage in the House: "The only hurdle ahead is that the bill was expanded beyond even what the house Republicans said they were interested in," Hawkings says. "Senators voted to expand the bill to cover not just members of Congress, but also several thousand executive branch employees." 

On practical implications of the bill: "It would apply some new tighter disclosure rules to them," Hawkings says of the executive branch staffers. "Essentially, under the bill, they would have to disclose all of their stock transactions within 30 days, rather than once a year."

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