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After '60 Minutes' report, support for Walz stock-trading bill takes off

Peter Schweizer of the Hoover Institution tells "60 Minutes" the most valuable intelligence is often traded behind closed doors.
Rep. Tim Walz
REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
Rep. Tim Walz

The STOCK Act makes trading on non-public information illegal for members of Congress and requires them to report any stock transactions worth more than $1,000. A version of the bill has been introduced every session since 2004, but it’s never gained the type of buzz it has now.

Rep. Eric Cantor
REUTERS/Larry Downing
Rep. Eric Cantor

If there is any sense of impropriety or any appearance of that, we should take extra steps to make sure the public's cynicism is addressed,” he said.

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Comments (11)

Any word on whether any more members of the Minnesota delegation got on board?

I want to hear the arguments of any legislator opposed to the bill.

@2: Well, you saw what Republicans did to the attempt to make kids' school lunches healthier, so at this point, I wouldn't put anything past them. Probably next week they'll be introducing an "everyone must kick a puppy" bill or some such thing. It's like they don't even bother to pretend they're trying to do good anymore.

It is sad that this sort of legislation is needed. What does this say about the character of our elected officials?

I admire Walz's optimism but I won't believe it will pass until I see it. What the American public wants just doesn't seem to make a difference any more.

"It's like they don't even bother to pretend they're trying to do good anymore."

That's rich. More republicans than democrats will vote for this bill.

Seven out of ten millionaires in congress are democrats. And most weren't millionaires before they came to Washington.

It's high time. I didn't know this was allowed. Isn't this a criminal offense among ordinary people?
It's like the Supreme Court not have ethical standards and allowing all kinds of conflict of interest activities.
Maybe we start cleaning things up one step at a time.

“Despite the global economic meltdown in 2008 and the sluggish recovery that followed, that’s up about 7.6 percent from an estimated median net worth of $2.38 million in 2009 … and up 13 percent from a median net worth of $2.27 million in 2008. … Fully 36 Senate Democrats, and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million in 2010. The same was true for 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats.”
Not 7 out of 10.

It's lamentable that the STOCK Act received zero attention for so many years, from 2004 to the 60 Minutes report this year. Who is covering Capitol Hill?

For me, this is further evidence that we need to employ more journalists. MinnPost is part of the solution, I think. However, I also think we will not stop the decline in American journalism until we create generously funded public broadcast media, like the BBC.

The for-profit media, having recently discovered that they can make more money keeping us entertained and ignorant than by informing us, have failed, for the last two decades, to give us the basic information we need to make knowledgeable choices as citizens in a democracy.

This legislation is significant only if legislators are making policy to enhance gains in the stockmarket through their privlaged information. Is that a problem? Otherwise this is largely symbolic and distracts from the business at hand which is regulating markets that are being legitimately manipulated by hedge fund managers and huge investment houses. If they were really interested in reform that benefitted ordinary investors and leveled the playing field then Elizabeth Warren would have been approved as the new sherriff in town. Instead, congress lacked the will to actually confront the rich and powerful stock traders that are sucking up the wealth of the country and providing nothing of value in return. Get to the real business at hand.

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