Who says the president and Congress can’t work together? Earlier this month, both houses passed and the president signed a measure gutting key provisions of the STOCK Act. The 2012 law, whose name is an acronym for “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge,” made it illegal for members of Congress and top-level executive branch employees to trade on non-public information gained in the course of their official duties. In other words, the law put an end to insider trading for lawmakers.
And now Obama has put an end to the law, or at least provisions that affect its transparency. OpenSecrets,org notes that the elements of the law that were rolled back include the creation of a relational database and the requirement of electronic filings of trades made by Congress, the president, the vice president, the president’s cabinet, congressional candidates, and high-level executive and congressional branch employees. OpenSecrets writes:
Without the provisions, the STOCK act is made toothless. Insider trading by members of Congress and federal employees is still prohibited, but the ability of watchdog groups to verify that Congress is following its own rules is severely limited because these records could still be filed on paper — an unacceptably outdated practice that limits the public’s access.
You’d think a story as cynical and defamatory as this would have been picked up by every major news organization. And you’d thing wrong. The New York Times, which covered the passage of the measure by Congress in February 2012, had not so much as a word on the repeal. Ditto for ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, or MSNBC. To its credit, the Washington Post did provide coverage, and so did The Daily Kos.
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