WASHINGTON – DFL Congressman Tim Walz will be at the White House on Wednesday when President Obama signs the STOCK Act, congressional ethics legislation pushed by Walz.
The bill explicitly bans members of Congress, their staff and other federal employees from making stock trades based on information they glean on the job. It also tightens disclosure requirements for members of Congress and top administration officials, requiring them to report stock, bond and future trades worth more than $1,000 within 30 to 45 days. Also, congressional financial disclosure reports will now be put in an online database for the public to examine.
The STOCK Act was first introduced in 2006 by a now-retired House member. Walz re-introduced the legislation in the House in 2011 where it languished, as it had for the previous five years until a report about lucrative stock trades by members of Congress appeared on 60 Minutes. After the story aired, Walz’s bill quickly gained momentum and sailed through both chambers of Congress.
Along the path to passage however, some of the measures championed by Walz and his closest ally on the bill, New York Democrat Louise Slaughter, including tighter disclosure rules for political intelligence firms, were sawed off of the bill.