Last month, a 60 Minutes investigation revealed that House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) made $30,000 trading on information that he received in private briefings during the 2008 financial crisis. Embarrassed by the revelation that representatives are exploiting their positions for profit, there’s been a flurry of activity on Capitol Hill to pass legislation that prevents members of Congress from trading on inside information.
Perhaps to atone for — or deflect attention from — his past wrongdoing, Bachus himself is one of the members proposing such legislation:
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) — in the midst of battling allegations of insider trading — has introduced legislation that would require members to place their assets in blind trusts run by independent managers. [...]
The legislation states that if any member fails to comply, the attorney general could bring civil action against them and they could face a penalty of up to $50,000. [...]
“The public has an absolute right to demand that the people they elect to represent them in Congress conduct themselves according to the highest ethical standards and do not seek to profit from their positions.”
In the meantime, the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the STOCK Act — or Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge — on Tuesday. It would prohibit members and federal workers from trading on nonpublic information they’ve come across through their work and require them to report any securities transaction of more than $1,000 within 90 days.