This is some bi-partisan nonsense right here:
President Obama has just signed a rollback of key transparency provisions of the STOCK Act.
Late Thursday night, as we reported last week, the Senate gutted the disclosure requirements by approving S.716, an act amending the requirements of the 2011 law. The House followed suit the next day, and the president signed the bill minutes ago.
The bill doesn’t just eliminate a controversial requirement that personal financial disclosures of tens of thousands of high level federal employees be made publicly accessible online. It also reverses two critical components of the original STOCK act: mandatory electronic filing of PFDs by the president, his cabinet and members of Congress, and the creation of a publicly accessible database.
Without the provisions, the STOCK act is made toothless.
Don’t remember the STOCK Act?
Here’s a reminder:
The new law lets the public see more of government officials’ financial dealings yet some members of Congress said it fell short. Lawmakers abandoned an earlier proposal to require public reports from people who gather information from Congress and sell it, mostly to investors.
Obama was joined by several lawmakers who pushed the bill through Congress, including Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican who has been targeted by Democrats and is expected to face a stiff challenge from Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor who helped launch the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The driving force behind the bill was Congress’ attempt to boost dismal approval ratings, with polls showing between 12 percent and 19 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.
Called the STOCK Act, which stands for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, the new law requires that public reports of new transactions exceeding $1,000 be posted online either 30 days after the individual was notified of a transaction in his or her account, or 45 days after the transaction.
It was this 60 Minutes story that brought attention to Congress’s insider trading:
It’s now back to business as usual in DC.
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