The legislative process on Capitol Hill is often slow and grinding. There are committee hearings, filibuster threats and hours of floor debate. But sometimes, when Congress really wants to get something done, it can move blindingly fast.
That's what happened when Congress moved to undo large parts of a popular law known as the STOCK Act last week.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:43 pm
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Joining the Senate, the House of Representatives approved a measure today that repeals a requirement that top government officials post financial disclosures on the Internet.
The House, like the Senate, acted quietly without a vote. Instead, they sent the measure to the president's desk by unanimous consent.
The provision was part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (Stock), which became law in March of 2012. The act was intended to stop members of congress from profiting from nonpublic information.
The Senate passed a bill Thursday to explicitly ban insider trading by members of Congress and the executive branch, and that means the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act is headed to the president's desk.
But this STOCK Act is quite a bit weaker than earlier versions.
The STOCK Act has been on a glide path ever since an explosive 60 Minutes story last fall highlighted the issue of members of Congress apparently profiting on nonpublic information.
"The Office of Congressional Ethics is investigating the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee over possible violations of insider-trading laws, according to individuals familiar with the case.
By a nearly unanimous vote this morning the House passed the STOCK Act, which as NPR's Tamara Keith has reported, "would, among other things, explicitly ban insider trading for members of Congress and their staffs."
The vote was 417-2, with 14 members absent. The two nay votes were from Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga.