U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) yesterday voted for final passage of the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act, a measure that would prohibit members of congress and their staff from using inside knowledge to profit by trading on Wall Street.
The bill passed the Senate 96-3.
The senators also voted on 18 amendments to the STOCK act, including:
· McCain amendment #1471, which would prohibit executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from receiving bonuses while in conservatorship. Manchin cosponsored the amendment, which was agreed to by voice vote.
· Blumenthal amendment #1498, which would strip members of Congress, the President, the Vice President, and other state and federal elected officials of their retirement benefits if they are convicted of certain felonies such as bribery, gratuity, perjury and other related offenses. Manchin supported the amendment, which was agreed to by voice vote.
“I am pleased that a large, bipartisan group of Senators have come together to support this commonsense measure that will hold members of Congress accountable to those we represent,” Manchin said. “It is absolutely intolerable for members of Congress to profit based off of knowledge they’ve gained in the course of public service. I consider it an honor to serve West Virginians each and every day, and I believe we must treat the privilege of service with the respect it deserves.”
President Barack Obama released a statement on the Senate’s passing of the bill, referencing his State of the Union Address where he “laid out a blueprint of an economy built to last, where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
“Last week, I called on Congress to pass a bill that makes clear that Members of Congress may not engage in insider trading,” Obama said. “No one should be able to trade stocks based on nonpublic information gleaned on Capitol Hill.
“So I’m pleased the Senate took bipartisan action to pass the STOCK Act. I urge the House of Representatives to pass this bill, and I will sign it right away.”
The president also acknowledged that the public’s perception of the government was waning, and said that the bill’s passage was “an important step to rebuild the trust between Washington and the American people.”
“There is much more work to be done,” Obama said, “like prohibiting elected officials from owning stocks in industries they impact, and prohibiting people who bundle campaign contributions for congress from lobbying congress, an idea that has bipartisan support outside of Washington.
“These are straightforward proposals that will help eliminate the corrosive influence of money in politics.”