Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, lead sponsor and author of the original STOCK Act, and Representative Katie Porter (D-CA) are announcing the reintroduction of the bicameral STOCK Act 2.0. The STOCK Act 2.0 would build on the STOCK Act to strengthen disclosure rules and prevent individuals in trusted positions of public service – including members of Congress, their families, and their staff – from using their access for self-enrichment.
“The American people need to know that their elected leaders are putting their constituents’ interests – not their own financial interests – first. That is the job we were sent to Washington to do,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The improved STOCK Act 2.0 bars trusted public servants from trading individual stocks and would require elected officials and high-level staff to disclose when they apply for or receive a benefit of value from the government — the same way they would report a stock transaction – and penalize them for failing to comply. I’m proud to work with Congresswoman Porter on this legislation to help end these abuses and give Americans confidence that Congress is acting solely in the national interest.”
“Few Americans trust that government is working for them, and that’s a real problem for our democracy,” said Representative Katie Porter. “By strengthening disclosure requirements and banning top officials from trading stocks, we can help restore faith in our government. The American people deserve to have confidence that those in power are working in the public’s interest, not in their own self-interests.”
The original STOCK Act barred members of Congress, the president, the vice president, and high-level staff from engaging in insider trading or otherwise using nonpublic information for their own benefit. It also included important updates to financial transparency by requiring these high ranking government officials to expeditiously disclose financial transactions to the public. The STOCK Act 2.0 would impose additional disclosure requirements and restrictions for high level officials to ensure that members of Congress and other public servants aren’t lining their pockets with taxpayer dollars.
Specifically, the STOCK Act 2.0 would:
- Require Reporting of Federal Benefits: Requires members of Congress, senior congressional staff, the president, vice president, and executive branch senior employees to report any time they, a spouse, or a dependent applies for or receives a benefit of value from the federal government. This includes loans, agreements, contracts, grants, and payments, including agricultural subsidies. It does not include salary, compensation or tax refunds. It would require a report to be filed – not later than 30 days after receiving notification or receipt and not more than 45 days after payment is made or promised – that would include the type of payment, name of recipient, date and amount. A penalty of $500 would be imposed for failure to file.
- Increases Penalties for Failure to File STOCK Act Transaction Reports: Increases from $200 to $500 the penalty for failing to file transaction reports as required by the STOCK Act.
- Expands List of Offices Covered by the STOCK Act: Bans insider trading and use of nonpublic information for an individual’s own benefit and requires expeditious public disclosure of financial transactions by members of the federal judiciary and Federal Reserve Bank presidents, vice presidents, and members of the Federal Reserve boards of directors.
- Bans Stock Trading: Prohibits members of Congress, the president and vice president, Supreme Court justices, Federal Reserve Board Governors and Federal Reserve Bank presidents and vice presidents from trading individual stocks. Failure to comply would lead to a civil penalty of not less than 10% of the value of the covered investment that was purchased or sold in violation of this ban.
- Transparency of Financial Disclosure Reports: The supervising ethics agencies for those covered under the STOCK Act must provide public access to personal financial disclosure reports and STOCK Act transaction reports and ensure they are searchable, downloadable, and easily accessible.
The STOCK Act 2.0 is the latest push for transparency for Senator Gillibrand, who has made government accountability a top priority throughout her career. Gillibrand led Senate passage of the STOCK Act in 2012, and was the first member of Congress to post her official meetings, personal financial disclosures, earmark requests, and taxes online.
This legislation is supported by American Family Voices, End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Environmental Working Group, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Oxfam America, Patriotic Millionaires, and Public Citizen.