Thursday, February 9, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a bill to ban members of Congress and executive branch officials from insider trading. But critics from both parties accuse House Republican leaders of caving in to investment firms by eliminating a proposal to regulate people who try to pry financial information from Congress.
The 417-2 vote Thursday will likely send the bill to a House-Senate conference to reconcile differences with a Senate-passed version of the bill.
The Senate bill included a requirement that people who collect financial information from Congress — and sell it to investment firms — should register like lobbyists and publicly disclose their activities.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, substituted instead a study of the so-called political intelligence community. House Democrats and Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa said that move weakens the bill.
… It’s amazing what Congress will grudgingly do when it is caught with its hands in the cookie jar that We the People could never touch. …