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WASHINGTON, DC (WWAY) — North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr was one of two votes Monday against a bill that would make it clear that insider trading laws apply to lawmakers.

The Senate voted 93-2 Monday to clear the way for consideration of amendments and – sponsors hope – final passage later this week of the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act. Burr and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) were the only votes against the procedural motion.

“Sen. Burr voted against cloture on the bill because there are already laws in place to address this critical issue,” Burr spokesman David Ward told WWAY. “Laws regarding insider trading that apply to the American people also apply to members of Congress and their staff. Members of Congress are elected to serve the people, not make money for themselves, and any member or staff member who breaks the already existing insider trading laws should be held responsible.”

The STOCK Act would require disclosure of new stock transactions on the Internet within 30 days and explicitly prohibit members of Congress from initiating trades based on non-public information they acquired in their official capacity. The legislation, at least partly symbolic, is aimed at answering critics who say lawmakers profit from businesses where they have special knowledge.

US lawmakers already are subject to the same penalties as other investors who use non-public information to enrich themselves, though no member of Congress in recent memory has been charged with insider trading. In 2005, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department investigated then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s sale of stock in his family’s hospital company, but no charges were ever brought against the Tennessee Republican.

Voters may believe lawmakers who are paid an annual salary of $174,000 are enriching themselves – especially if those voters saw a segment of CBS’ “60 Minutes” in November. The show questioned trades by a House committee chairman, the current speaker and his predecessor’s husband. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) all denied wrongdoing. Bachus chairs the Financial Services Committee.

The Senate bill would prohibit lawmakers from tipping off family members or others about non-public information that could influence a stock’s price, in addition to the explicit ban itself. And it would direct the House and Senate ethics committees to write rules that would make insider trading violators subject to congressional punishment.

House leaders are working on a more expansive bill that would include land deals and other non-stock transactions. A vote is expected in February.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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6 Comments on "Burr one of two votes against Congressional insider trading bill"

2015 years 9 months ago

In addition to taking care of virtually none of the country’s business, some of these elitists actually have the audacity to look you right in the eye and tell you the rules only apply to us, but not them.

Not necessary, says our esteemed Senator, “because there are already laws in place to address this critical issue”. If that was really the case, this wouldn’t even be an issue.

“Democracy”? … Don’t think so …Can anyone say “Plutocracy”?

2015 years 9 months ago

You must have been asleep during history class, or you would know that the US is not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic.
And why create yet another law if the one already on the books applies to citizens and elected officials?

2015 years 9 months ago

Didn’t Martha go to jail for this????????

2015 years 9 months ago

“you’re not getting my vote, and I am a TRIED and TRUE, red-blooded, American Conservative, in your district, you #@$%^&%”

Read them again, “The senate vote was 93-2, so your vote screams indiscretion. You are WRONG, dead WRONG, but must really be making a KILLING”

Man-O-Man, I may as well change my ticket, what difference does it make anymore?


A Madder than all hell citizen

2015 years 9 months ago

If you’re a “red-blooded, American Conservative,” then you shouldn’t be in favor of bureaucracy and extraneous laws.

Insider trading is illegal. This bill doesn’t change that. Kudos to Burr for standing up for small government principles for once.

2015 years 9 months ago

Wonder how much money he’s made off of this perk. While we’re hollering for everyone to release their tax returns it would be interesting to see Mr. Burr’s.


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