When last we looked, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was blocking passage of the STOCK Act, which would ban Congressional insider trading. Now The Motley Fool is reporting that:
CBS News posted an early version of this weekend's 60 Minutes episode with the following text: "Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will take up the STOCK Act in 2012. His remarks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl came after he previously angered some on Capitol Hill by blocking progress on a ban on congressional 'insider trading.'" You can watch the 60 Minutes clip online here. We applaud Rep. Cantor's plans and look forward to seeing him move the STOCK Act to the floor quickly. You can rest assured that we'll be following every step of this bill's journey here on Fool.com.
Personally, I don't applaud anything Cantor says or does on this issue. To the contrary, I smell a rat.
I hear Cantor plans to broaden the legislation to include not just insider trading but any economic transaction in which a member of Congress uses inside information, including things like land transactions. But those transactions are not the issue. They are rare and more easily visible to the media. The conflict of interest thus is easier to identify.
My guess is that Cantor's making the bill so over broad that it would essentially chill all economic activity by Congressmen in hope that the members will therefore reject it. Plus, I bet he plans to bury a weak insider trading prohibition in the middle of the newly enlarged bill. In sum, I don't trust Cantor on this issue at all.
We need to hold Cantor to account. The best bill on offer at the moment is the Chairman's markup of the legislation that emerged from the Senate committee's deliberations. It's a good bill. It works. It's the bill they ought to pass. So let Cantor know.
The Motley Fool listed a bunch of ways to contact Cantor:
- Tweet @EricCantor @GOPLeader with the hashtag #PassTheSenateStockAct.
- Post on his Facebook wall.
- Leave a message at his DC office at 202-225-2815.
- Email him.
- If you'd like to learn more about the STOCK Act, read this article: Support Your Local "Sheriff" in Supporting the STOCK Act
Tell him to pass the damned Act.