The two original authors of a House bill to codify a ban on insider trading by Members and staff are pressing House and Senate leaders to move forward on the bill, versions of which have now passed both chambers.
“It is imperative that the [Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge] Act continues its path through the legislative process without delay,” Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and Tim Walz (D-Minn.) wrote in a letter today to Congressional leaders.
Currently, the legislative ball is in the Senate’s court, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not yet indicated whether he will take up the version of the bill passed by the House or initiate a potentially contentious conference committee to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills.
Slaughter and Walz are pushing for the conference committee in part to restore some provisions included in the Senate-passed bill that were stripped from the House-passed version.
“We urge you to convene a conference committee and we look forward to working with you to pass the STOCK Act into law,” the two wrote.
Slaughter has said one provision in particular, which would have required political intelligence consultants to register as lobbyists, is crucial to the bill. In a conference call with reporters today, she said the provision was “one of the most important parts of the bill.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) removed that provision from the House legislation, citing concerns about its constitutionality and whether it might lead to unintended consequences, like opening up regular citizens and journalists to liability.
The letter from Slaughter and Walz was sent to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have also urged a formal conference committee.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.