Members of Congress are taking up legislation this week aimed at dealing with allegations that a form of "insider trading" is taking place among lawmakers whose knowledge of pending bills could give them a leg up in the stock market.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act would bar members of Congress from using non-public information -- for instance, about pending laws that would affect the financial-services industry or other sectors of the economy -- to make decisions on stock investments. It would also require them to disclose such investments within 30 days.
The bill comes in the wake of a 60 Minutes report last fall exploring whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi helped craft legislation that might have benefited stock investments by her husband, San Francisco businessman Paul Pelosi. The news program also examined investments by House Speaker John Boehner.
Pelosi's office dismissed the 60 Minutes story as a hit piece inspired by the work of conservative author Peter Schweizer.
The legislation arises as Congress faces historically low levels of esteem among the American public. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that a majority of American citizens would fire every single member of Congress if given the opportunity.
A procedural vote today would allow the Senate to pass the bill later this week, the AP reported. President Barack Obama has said he would sign the bill.
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