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Sense on Cents Calls Out Congress to Pass H.R. 1148 Outlawing Congressional Insider Trading

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 14, 2011 5:23 PM |

Why does it take an expose on 60 Minutes to create a stir in Washington on legislation which never should have to be written if our Congressmen had some principles and a conscience?

Well, perhaps basic values and principles are too too much to ask or expect of those in Congress. So how might we get Congress to move forward on H.R. 1148: Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act?

What does this act do? It’s quite simple.

To prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes.

How might we get the louts in Washington who have shelved this initiative whenever it has come up to move forward on it? 

LET’S SHAME THEM INTO IT!!!

With this commentary, I hereby call out all those in Congress who have not yet sponsored or co-sponsored this legislation to do so forthwith.

To be fair and respectful of those in Congress who have already moved on this legislation, I am happy to share that Timothy Walz (D-MN) sponsored this legislation. It has been co-sponsored by the following legislators:

Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3)
Steve Cohen (D-TN9)
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ7)
Kathleen Hochul (D-NY26)
Walter Jones (R-NC3)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH10)
David Loebsack (D-IA2)
Louise Slaughter (D-NY28)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA5)

I called my Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT) this afternoon and informed his spokesman of my initiative here at Sense on Cents. I let him know that Jim’s name will be published here at Sense on Cents as supporting this legislation or not. I got his spokesman’s attention and let him know how great the blogosphere was at spreading this type of information. He fully understood.

He informed me that he would speak to Jim and would respond within two weeks.

I welcome highlighting Jim’s photo above as a precursor of how we can make this initiative a VERY PUBLIC undertaking.

You have to love the blogosphere and the internet at large.

LET’S CALL OUT ALL THOSE IN CONGRESS TO PASS THIS LEGISLATION.

How can you help? Please utilize this Contacting the Congress link to reach out to your Congressmen. Let me know how they respond. I will be happy to keep track of those responding and widely disseminate the results.

I agree that it is pathetic that it has come to this but if we are ever going to take back our nation and restore our principles, we have to start somewhere.

I thank you for your help in “OUTING THE LOUTS” and beginning to expose this angle of the Wall Street-Washington incest.

Please share this with your friends, family, and colleagues. We can make this happen.

Larry Doyle

Isn’t it time to  subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook? Do your friends, family, and colleagues a favor and get them to do the same. Thanks!!

  • Randy B

    Well Larry,

    I’ve written brief emails to both California Senators and my local representative and asked each for a direct Yes or No as to whether they do and will support HR 1148 and/or any Senate version of same as long as it is no less restrictive. Let’s see what type of weasel language they come back with. I will pass it on to you either way.

    I am still convinced the only way to solve any of this is to have citizens vote on all meaningful legislation right over the Internet going forward and simply disband Congress altogether. While there are a few decent members of Congress, the majority are untrustworthy and little more than self-serving, lying and thieving frauds. As long as they are around to be bought off by the Unions and large corporations through their lobbyists, our government and way of life will continue to decay from within and there won’t be a darn thing we can do about it. Simply voting out the bums and sending in new people never solves the problem. Whomever we send tends to end up getting some type of brain and morals transplant once they reach Capitol Hill and we are stuck with another 2 to 6 years of treasonous behavior by those who were sent there to do what is good for the country.

    It should now be abundantly clear to all who are paying even the least bit of attention as to why those people spend huge sums on campaigns to become a member of Congress where the average annual salary is just $174,000 per annum. That’s just the petty cash level front end of what they truly stand to make by engaging in dishonorable activities and actions for which the average American is readily prosecuted and sent to prison.

  • JK

    What should we write in our message to them in a clear and concise way? Any tips or advice?

    • LD

      JK,

      First off, I would recommend you first call the offices of your representatives. The phone numbers are on the link and a call is always very powerful in putting people on notice. Mention that you are soliciting the information so that you can share it with Sense on Cents and that it can be made public.

      In terms of the message, I would recommend being direct. Perhaps the following:

      Congressman…..,

      A recent 60 Minutes expose has highlighted that Congress is not held to the same standards of integrity and decorum in dealing with material nonpublic information in the trading of commodities and investment securities.

      H. R. 1148 is written to prohibit commodities and securities trading based on nonpublic information relating to Congress, to require additional reporting by members and employees of Congress of securities transactions, and for other purposes.

      Will you support this proposal becoming the law of the land? Will you be willing to co-sponsor it?

      Your response is requested and appreciated and will be shared with the financial blog Sense on Cents which is highlighting and publicizing those who respond and their responses.

      Regards,

      …………

  • David Thetford

    Laws can be changed while the public is not looking. Rather than pass a law outlawing Congressional insider trading, I would suggest an amendment to the Constitution that states that the Congress shall pass no law to which the members of Congress themselves are not subject. Of course, language would have to be added that includes the same requirement for existing laws. Otherwise the dirty, rotten scoundrels would grandfather themselves into the RIGHT to trade on insider information!

    • LD

      David,

      This is also a GREAT point and should also be enacted and implemented. Do BOTH for the impact and to deliver the message that Americans DO NOT TRUST Congress.

      Well stated and suggested. Thanks!!

  • LD

    The Project on Government Oversight writes on this topic in a commentary entitled, STOCK Act Would Stop Controversial Congressional Insider Trading,

    The CBS story may be making a lot of waves, but this isn’t a new problem. For years, researchers have shown that Members of Congress get abnormally high returns from their stocks. Incarnations of the STOCK Act have been introduced three times in the past, but no one has voted on it (POGO supported the Act in the last Congress). The time has come to stop shaking our fists at the politicians making extra bucks off of a legally grey loophole—and throw support into the solution. At present, the STOCK Act is hanging out in the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

  • Ed

    I hope this prohibition also is extended to the spouses of the members of Congress. What about children and siblings.

    In fact I would feel very good if all commodities trading was prohibited. I have never felt that gambling with the future rise and fall of commodities or securities on the leverage ratios used by hedge funds performs any useful service to the nation or the world.

    If we prohibited all of that, would George Soros leave the USA and go anywhere else? Please, please, please.






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