On the Hill

Congress Passes Insider-Trading Bill

With a 417–2 vote Thursday in the House, Congress banned themselves from buying stocks based on insider information, but left Wall Street consultants unaffected. The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, passed the House despite criticism from senators that Republican leaders cut key provisions from the bill and fast-tracked it for approval. A main sticking point was a provision cut by Eric Cantor that would have required oversight of the growing “political intelligence industry,” K Street consultants who sell inside information to hedge funds about the likely outcome of legislative proposals. That change came after heavy lobbying from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, a major Wall Street trade group.