Local
4:12 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

President Obama signs Slaughter's STOCK Act

A broken leg kept Western New York Rep. Louise Slaughter from attending the presidential signing of a bill she championed that prohibits insider trading among members of Congress and other federal employees.

President Obama cited Slaughter by name during a signing ceremony today for the the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, lauding her six-year effort in getting the bill passed.

"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," President Obama said.

The new law lets the public see more of government officials' financial dealings, yet some members of Congress said it fell short.  Lawmakers abandoned an earlier proposal to require public reports from people in the "political intelligence" community who gather information from Congress and sell it, mostly to investors.

Slaughter introduced the STOCK Act more than six years ago.  It gained renewed national attention when the CBS show 60 Minutes aired a piece on it in November. 

The Rochester-area Democrat missed the signing because of a broken leg suffered in a fall in New York City on Monday.  In his remarks, the President wished her a "speedy recovery. 

Obama praised Slaughter's efforts, saying the move to bar insider trading among lawmakers will ensure everyone ``plays by the same rules.''

"The powerful shouldn't get to create one set of rules for themselves and another set of rules for everybody else. And if we expect that to apply to our biggest corporations and to our most successful citizens, it certainly should apply to our elected officials, especially at a time when there's a deficit of trust between this city and the rest of the country," Obama said.

Rep. Slaughter issued the following statement in regard to today's signing:

“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 else will.”

 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.