Texas Gov. Rick Perry called Monday for a new law that would see members of Congress jailed for insider trading.
Perry, in a web video posted Monday, seemed to trade off a "60 Minutes" report that aired Sunday evening, which accused leaders in Congress from both parties of possibly using privileged information to make smart stock picks.
"Any congressman or senator who uses their insider knowledge to profit in the stock market ought to be sent to jail, period," Perry said in a web video posted to his campaign's YouTube account. "And Congress ought to pass a law that says so, right now -- no if's, and's or but's."
Yesterday's "60 Minutes" report suggested that top members of Congress, from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), a favorite target of Republicans, to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who's targeted in the piece as well, used the knowledge to which they're privy as lawmakers to benefit themselves financially.
Insider trading by lawmakers isn't illegal, though, and their offices asserted Monday that all the information they encountered was publicly available. But Perry's call is a somewhat populist tack, and one that subjects some other Republicans to friendly fire, given the focus in the piece on their trades, too. It also aligns him with Pelosi, who supports a similar law outlawing insider trading.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on Monday said that he favored increased transparency, but dodged questions on Monday as to whether he favored a law that would outlaw insider-trading on Capitol Hill -- just the kind of law Perry had called for today.
"I'm not familiar with the details of the Stock Act, but I know it was mentioned in the program last night," Cantor said. "My sense is that it requires more disclosure, I'm for increased disclosure, if there is any sense of impropriety or any appearance of that, we should take extra steps that the public's cynicism is addressed. We are not here to be hiding anything. I've always been very supportive of full disclosure."
Rick Perry on Congressional Insider Trading