Senate Passes Insider Trading Ban
Measure to be before House next week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 3, 2012 3:53 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid speaks during a news conference on the STOCK Act.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Lawmakers in Congress are inching closer to deciding, somewhat belatedly, that they shouldn't be allowed to profit by playing the stock market using inside information they have gleaned on Capitol Hill. A bill that bans insider trading by lawmakers and thousands of executive branch officials is heading to the House after passing the Senate 96-3 yesterday, the AP reports. President Obama has promised to sign the bill, which requires stock trades be posted online within 30 days.

"With approval ratings of Congress at an all-time low, this bill represents an opportunity to build some trust with the American people," said Sen. Scott Brown. "The truth is, members of Congress have access to all kinds of sensitive information, and it has to be clear that the information is being used to serve our country, not to make a personal profit." The bill was created largely in response to a 60 Minutes segment that raised questions about stock trades made by John Boehner and by Nancy Pelosi's husband, among others. (Of course, Congress is still exempt from plenty of other federal laws; click to see which ones.)