CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS
Feb. 3, 2012 – 9:59 p.m.
GOP Takes On Insider-Trading Bill
By Richard E. Cohen and Niels Lesniewski, CQ Staff
House leaders plan to move quickly on the Senate-passed insider-trading bill, although there are reservations among the Republican majority about the far-reaching measure.
GOP leaders are working to resolve a number of issues before sending the bill to the floor later this week. Senior lawmakers — including Rules Chairman
“I plead guilty to not being an enthusiast,” Dreier, a 16-term House veteran, said after the bill’s provisions were expanded during Senate floor debate.
House Republicans face political pressure to follow the swift Senate action and send the measure to President Obama, who called for such legislation during his Jan. 24 State of the Union address.
The bill (
Dreier said he raised “a couple of questions” about the bill during a Republican leadership meeting last week. “Nobody had answers,” he said. “But perception is reality.”
He said Congress’ low public approval ratings have created pressure for action. “This is probably something that needs to be done,” he said.
House Majority Leader
House leaders plan to bring the bill straight to the floor without committee review, despite requests from some lawmakers and top aides for a more thorough review of its significant additions to disclosure requirements. For example, lawmakers and aides would have to report within 30 days the sale or purchase of any stock or other security.
House GOP leadership aides said they will spend the weekend studying and considering possible alternatives to the Senate’s actions. In a long series of votes, senators added some provisions to the legislation that may conflict or would likely prove unworkable, an initial review by House aides has concluded.
GOP Takes On Insider-Trading Bill
Republican aides said they have identified several areas of particular concern, although they declined to outline them, and House leaders have not decided whether any proposed changes will be made in order.
Cantor has said he would like the bill’s provisions to apply more broadly to those in the executive branch, but it is unclear to what extent. The Senate adopted an amendment to the bill by
But confusion remains because the Senate also adopted a broader amendment by
‘Political Intelligence’ Consultants
Ethics experts have questioned the feasibility of the Senate provision that would require political intelligence consultants to register as if they were lobbyists. Those professionals gather details about congressional activity for hedge fund managers, investment companies, financial services firms and other interested parties.
House leaders and aides also are concerned about the feasibility of Senate provision calling for a new searchable website where all disclosure statements would be available. A veteran House aide said Congress has taken more than a year to implement comparable databases.
Insider-trading legislation has been a hot topic since CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported in mid-November that lawmakers were cashing in on non-public information. The report suggested that Securities and Exchange Commission prohibitions on insider trading do not apply to those working in the Capitol.
Dreier said the “60 Minutes” segment was “all news to me. ... And I’m not a new kid on the block.”
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this story.