The Senate approved a House-passed bill to prevent insider trading by members of Congress and thousands of executive branch officials. The legislation now goes to President Obama for his signature.
Senators agreed to discard a more extensive version of the bill they passed last month in favor of the House measure. That meant dropping amendments including measures to require people engaged in “political intelligence activities” to register as lobbyists and to help prosecution of public corruption.
Passage of the bill on Thursday completes a process that senior lawmakers in both parties considered unnecessary as policy but an important public relations exercise in response to reports of lax restrictions on insider trading by members. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he moved the House measure because Republicans blocked a conference committee to reconcile differences between the chambers’ measures. But Reid chose to quietly move the House bill rather than force a fight, to the chagrin of some senators.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa., who sponsored the political intelligence amendment, said he voted against cloture on the bill to protest its exclusion. “The majority leader’s heavy-handed tactics leave few options for restoring the provision this go-round,” said Grassley, who pledged to try again.