President Obama Praises
Slaughter for Her Work to End Insider Trading in Congress as he Signs
STOCK Act into Law
April 7, 2012
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-28) celebrated a major legislative
accomplishment as President Barack Obama praised her six years of work
to outlaw insider trading in Congress. Today as he signed the Stop
Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act into law at the White
House he said,
“I want to recognize Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and wish her a
speedy recovery. She broke her leg yesterday so she can’t be here in
person. I think she’ll be okay. She first introduced the STOCK Act in
2006 and I know how proud she is to see this bill that she championed
finally become law.”
“Today marks a milestone in this country’s long fight to become a more
perfect union,” said Slaughter. “I am so proud that after six years of
hard work and effort, we can finally assure the American people that we
are not profiting from information we learn in our pursuit to represent
them. They have placed their trust in the 535 of us who have the honor
of serving as their representatives in Congress. Today with the STOCK
Act becoming law, we made clear that we are not above the law. This was
certainly a long and turbulent debate but, it becomes more and more
clear to me that these are the fights worth taking on, even when no one
A full history of Slaughter’s work to end insider trading in Congress is
This is by no means the first time Slaughter has worked to clean up
Washington having authored a groundbreaking report in 2006, “American
for Sale: the Cost of Republican Corruption,” the most comprehensive
account to date of the ways in which the democratic process and the
public good have been undermined by corrupt legislators. At the same
time, she led the charge for new Congressional ethics rules when
Democrats took control of the House and Senate.
Building on the progress of the STOCK Act, Slaughter has already begun
the fight for further reforms having introduced legislation along with
Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01) that would specifically address the
political intelligence industry and public corruption prosecution
improvements that were left out of the STOCK Act signed today by the
Timeline of Slaughter’s Work to Pass the STOCK Act
28, 2006 – Slaughter along with Rep. Brian Baird (WA-3) first introduced
the STOCK Act. In that 109th Congress, the bill received 14 co-sponsors.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tony Rudy, Chief of Staff
to then House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, “bought and sold hundreds of
stocks from his computer in the U.S. Capitol in 1999 and 2000, according
to financial-disclosure forms and other DeLay aides.” The STOCK Act was
reintroduced by Baird and Slaughter again in 2007 and 2009, never
gaining more than 10 co-sponsors.
March 17, 2011 – Slaughter reintroduces the STOCK Act into the 112th
Congress with Rep. Tim Walz (MN-01). It is supported by good government
groups Common Cause, CREW, Democracy 21, Public Citizen and US PIRG.
November 13, 2011 - 60 Minutes ran a story pointing out the problem of
insider trading in Congress. Prior to the piece, the bill had 9
co-sponsors. The next day, the STOCK Act began an explosion of support.
Slaughter said recently, “In my 20 years here, I’ve never seen anything
November 15, 2011 – A Senate counterpart to the STOCK Act is introduced
for the first time by Senator Scott Brown (R-MA). Two days later,
Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a second version of the STOCK Act
in the Senate. The bills are later combined.
December 1, 2011 - The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Committee holds a hearing on the STOCK Act
December 6, 2011 – The House Financial Services Committee holds a
hearing on the STOCK Act where Slaughter and Walz testify. Chairman
Bachus schedules a markup of the bill for December 14.
December 7, 2011 – Politico reports that the markup scheduled in the
Financial Services Committee is postponed under pressure from House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
December 8, 2011 – Slaughter and Walz’s STOCK Act receives the
overwhelming support of a majority of the House of Representatives. More
than 218 members (the number needed to pass the bill under regular
order), co-sponsor the bill.
December 17, 2011 – With pressure mounting, Majority Leader Cantor tells
CBS he will take up the STOCK Act.
December 20, 2011 – The Wall Street Journal reported on dozens of
meetings set up by political intelligence firms with their clients and
lawmakers, giving hedge funds and other financial institutions access to
privileged information that made them untold sums of money. Slaughter
and Walz say this is further evidence that transparency is needed in the
political intelligence industry.
January 24, 2012 – President Obama says in his State of the Union, “Send
me a bill that bans insider trading by Members of Congress, and I will
sign it tomorrow.”
February 1, 2012 – Slaughter and Walz introduce a discharge petition
that would bring their STOCK Act up for a vote on the House floor. In
the first day it is signed by 115 Members of Congress. In total 171
Members signed the discharge petition.
February 2, 2012 – The Senate passes their version of the STOCK Act by a
vote of 96-3. It includes an amendment by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
that includes language from Slaughter’s bill regulating the political
February, 6, 2012 – As Slaughter and Walz continue to pressure Cantor
for a vote on the STOCK Act, it was clear that he would write his own
version of the bill. He never consults the bill’s original authors.
Meanwhile Slaughter’s bill gains the support of 286 co-sponsors
including 99 Republicans.
February 7, 2012 - At 10:30 pm, Cantor’s office finally releases text of
his changes to the Senate-passed bill to be voted on by the House and
makes clear that he will bring it to a vote using a procedure that does
not allow for amendments or changes. Slaughter says repeatedly that this
version of the bill is weakened. It does not include her provision to
regulate the $402 million a year political intelligence industry.
February 8, 2012 – Slaughter and Walz react to the weakened version of
the House bill. Slaughter tells reporters in the Capitol, “Our job here
is never done. That’s the beauty of a legislature, you’re never truly
defeated until you stop trying and I don’t give up so easily.” Meanwhile
Cantor releases a statement praising Slaughter’s years of work on this
February 9, 2012 – The STOCK Act passes the House by an overwhelming
vote of 417-2. Slaughter vows to fight for a conference committee to
make the bill that will be sent to President Obama even stronger.
March 6, 2012 – Slaughter writes to House and Senate leadership urging
them to move forward with a conference committee so that the two bills
passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate can be reconciled and move
forward to be signed into law.
March 22, 2012 – The Senate adopts the House-passed language of the
STOCK Act by a vote of 96-3 sending the bill to President Obama for his
April 4, 2012 – President Obama signs the STOCK Act into law saying
Slaughter, “first introduced the STOCK Act in 2006 and I know how proud
she is to see this bill that she championed finally become law.”