President Barack Obama signed a partial repeal of the STOCK Act on Monday, with the White House citing national security concerns in canceling a planned online database of investment information of top congressional staffers and administration employees.
“Both houses of Congress passed this bill unanimously and it was not done in a vacuum,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “Congress changed the online posting provision only after a panel of experts from the National Academy of Public Administration studied this issue and issued a report recommending indefinite suspension,” raising national security, law enforcement and personal security concerns.
However, advocates of the legislation — notably Public Citizen and the Sunlight Foundation — had ripped both the repeal of the online database as a blow to accountability and the way it was passed without debate in either the House or the Senate.
While some of the information will still be available to the public, people will have a much more difficult time accessing it without a searchable online database.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks with reporters in the Capitol after a speech on the Senate floor that accused the CIA of searching computers set up for Congressional staff for their research of interrogation programs.