Fortune senior editor Roger Parloff has a great editorial out on why It's time to ban insider trading by Congress. Money quotes:
There is actually a debate within legal academia about whether Congressmen could be held liable for insider trading even as the law stands—law professor Donna Nagy of the University of Indiana has argued that they could be, while Stephen Bainbridge, a law professor at U.C.L.A., has argued that they can't—but the very fact that there is such a debate deters prosecutors from pursuing cases. Why mount an inherently shaky case against such a high-profile target? As for the SEC, wrote Bainbridge in 2009, "Any government agency is likely to be reluctant to bite the budgetary hand that feeds it."
While Congress never consciously created the cracks in the insider trading laws that its members now enjoy slipping through, they have consciously refused to seal them. Legislation has been introduced in each session of Congress since 2006 (by Louise Slaughter of New York and a handful of others), known as the STOCK Act (for "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act"), that would solve most of the problem. But until Sunday's 60 Minutes piece, it somehow never gained any traction.
That segment, though—produced by Ira Rosen and Gabrielle Schonder and reported by Steve Kroft—seems to have finally hit a nerve. Since it aired, two Senators have introduced new versions of the STOCK Act, and the House Financial Services Committee—now chaired by Representative Bachus—has already scheduled a hearing on the House version for December 6.
Now that it's made it onto the agenda, can you seriously imagine anyone opposing it?
Nope. But I can imagine members of Congress stringing it out in hopes that people will stop paying attention and then letting the bill die. We must keep their feet to the fire on this one.