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.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.