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House passes its version of congressional insider trading ban

 

The House overwhelmingly passed its version of a ban on congressional insider trading on Thursday, moving now to a process of resolving differences with a similar bill in the Senate.

The House voted 417-2 to pass the STOCK Act; two Republican lawmakers opposed it. The legislation now goes to the Senate, which can either decided to vote on it, or can convene a conference where they will meld the Senate and House's versions of the bill.

The bill is intended to strengthen the restrictions against members of Congress, their staffs and families, as well as members of the executive branch using information they've gathered in their jobs for insider trading.

While House Democrats had chastised Republicans for writing the bill behind "closed doors," as well as taking out some of the reforms the Senate bill had included, the bill passed with Democratic support, as it would reflect poorly to vote against a bill making it illegal for Congress to use information they gather for insider trading. Democrats are hoping that the bill will go to conference in order to re-introduce some of the reforms contained within the Senate bill.

The House GOP's version of the bill strengthened the restrictions and reporting requirements for the executive branch. It also took out an amendment that was included in the Senate bill that tighten restrictions on people who take information from Capitol Hill and sell it to financial institutions.