Sen. Gillibrand Introduces Bill Allowing SEC To Prosecute Members Of Congress For Insider Trading: ‘It Has To Be Illegal’

With his ear to the ground in Massachusetts, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) is bolstering his Wall Street reform cred with a new bill to stop members of Congress from participating in insider trading. Responding to a 60 Minutes report citing lawmakers who earned thousands from trading on information learned in private briefings, Brown’s Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2011 requires lawmakers to report transactions of at least $1,000 in bonds, commodities or stocks within 90 days. Today, Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) took it one step further with a bill that will not only ban insider trading for congressional members but will “empower the Securities and Exchange Commission to prosecute lawmakers for insider-trading cases as well as make insider trading against the rules of the House and the Senate.”

Noting that “the American people don’t have a lot of trust in Congress,” Gillibrand told CBS’ Early Show host Chris Wagge that “it’s incumbent upon us to make the kinds of changes that the American people would expect we would make so that we live by the exact same exact rules that everyone else does.” While there is disclosure now, she said, “it has to be illegal, just like it’s illegal for everyone else.” Watch it:

House Speaker John Boehner (R), however, thinks that such laws are unnecessary as “there are already guidelines for congressional investments,” adding, “I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities in my account and haven’t for years.”