Majority leader to force STOCK Act vote

March 20, 2012 at 8:17 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- With the U.S. Congress deadlocked over a bill that would bar lawmakers from insider trading, the Senate's majority leader moved Tuesday to force a vote on it.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., filed a cloture petition on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act that will force the Senate to vote on the bill Thursday, Politico reported.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who also wants the bill to pass, backed Reid's cloture vote.

The STOCK Act would bar lawmakers and their staffs from trading stocks, bonds and other financial investments using non-public information gained through their congressional positions.

Reid and McConnell are pushing to vote on the House-passed version of the bill, which dropped two provisions.

One deleted provision would have required "political intelligence consultants" firms to register with the government. The other provision removed from the bill scrapped the expansion of federal prohibitions against bribery, theft of public money and other public corruption offenses.

The deletion of these provisions has caused bipartisan angst in both the House and the Senate.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who sponsored both deleted provisions, has called for a House-Senate conference committee to discuss the omitted provisions.

"It doesn't have to be a headache," he said.

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