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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) faced criticism on Wednesday for introducing a version of the STOCK Act which many said had severely weakened the legislation. This guy is the most hypocritical shill currently in Washington.
“Rep. Cantor has opposed the STOCK Act from the start and his bill reflects that,” said Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “The majority leader is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is trying to take credit for finally responding to an issue that has outraged Americans, while behind closed doors he has taken the side of Wall Street and neutered the tough Senate bill.”
But the House bill cut a provision that was in the Senate version requiring people who collect and trade so-called political intelligence -- information from government that can move markets and stock prices -- to register just like lobbyists if they want to talk with covered officials in Congress and the executive branch so that the public knows who they are and what they're doing.
It also cut a provision that cracks down on officials guilty of taking actions on the job to benefit themselves.
Republican sponsors of those provisions in the Senate -- especially Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) -- were highly critical of the changes, with Grassley calling them "astonishing and extremely disappointing."
(Reuters) - The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Spencer Bachus, which oversees the U.S. banking and financial services industries, is under investigation for possible violation of insider trading laws, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The Office of Congressional Ethics began investigating Bachus, an Alabama Republican, late last year after focusing on a number of suspicious trades on his annual financial disclosure form, the Post reported, citing sources familiar with the case.
The political-intelligence industry won big last week when Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, eliminated a provision of the Stock Act that would have likely required firms to disclose their names, the names of their clients and their fees — same as lobbyists.
The WSJ’s Brody Mullins and Andrew Ackermann report that the industry may have a much larger problem on its hands:
The new concern of the political-intelligence industry stems from the legislation giving lawmakers an explicit “duty” not to act on nonpublic, material information. Prior to the legislation, many securities lawyers thought it was unclear if such a duty — a key tenet of insider-trading law — existed on Capitol Hill.
In establishing that legal duty, however, the legislation also could put lawmakers and aides in legal jeopardy if they divulge that same information to individuals who then trade on the information. “Now that Congress is covered by the insider-trading law, if a member of Congress gives a tip to a hedge fund manager, that is going to be illegal,” says Stephen Bainbridge, a securities-law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.