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The STOCK Act Needs Our Support

Ed. note: This post has been updated to reflect additional co-sponsors in recent days.

Part of President Obama's state of the union focused on what should be a completely non-controversial idea, holding Congress to the same rules as everyone else. The request is to make it against the law for Congress to commit insider trading. Sadly, most of the Texas Congressional delegation has yet to sign on in support of this important, good government legislation.

The folks who haven't signed yet include 17 Republicans and (Library of Congress)*

  •   Representative Louie Gohmert (R - 01)
  •   Representative Ralph M. Hall (R - 04)
  •   Representative Jeb Hensarling (R - 05)
  •   Representative Joe Barton (R - 06)
  •   Representative John Culberson (R - 07)
  •   Representative Kevin Brady (R - 08)
  •   Representative Mike Conaway (R - 11)
  •   Representative Kay Granger (R - 12)
  •   Representative Mac Thornberry (R - 13)
  •   Representative Ron Paul (R - 14)
  •   Representative Randy Neugebauer (R - 19)
  •   Representative Lamar Smith (R - 21)
  •   Representative Pete Olson (R - 22)
  •   Representative Francisco R. (Quico) Canseco (R - 23)
  •   Representative Blake Farenthold (R - 27)
  •   Representative Pete Sessions (R - 32)

This is a bipartisan bill in every way. The senate voted 93 to 2 to pass it. There are 273 signed on as co-sponsors in the House. This is bipartisan ethics legislation and every member should sign it now.

Sadly, Tea Party freshman Francisco Canseco in West Texas doesn't seem interested in ethics reform in Washington.

Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R-Texas) called the bill a “completely unworkable solution to these allegations” that could incite “political witch hunts.” He also raised concerns that the bill, if made law, could raise sticky constitutional issues, in that it would require federal regulators under the executive branch to investigate the legislative branch. (The Hill, Dec. 6, 2011)

State Representative Pete Gallego is pushing back against Canseco. In a statement on his Facebook and website, Gallego has said:

I cannot trade stocks with inside information. And neither can you. It's illegal. But Congressman Quico Canseco believes he - and other members of Congress - should be able to.

We have just come through one of the worst recessions in our nation's history - due in no small part to shady, inside finance schemes just like the one Rep. Canseco would continue to allow.

Members of Congress should be held to the same standards and laws as everyone else. That's just good common sense. That's why I strongly support the STOCK Act, which bans Congress from making financial transactions based on inside, non-public information.

But in December, Congressman Canseco said he believes there should be special rules for him and other members of Congress that don't apply to you and I.

We agree with Rep. Gallego, President Obama and the non-partisan groups pushing for ethics reform in our nation's capitol. We will be launching a campaign in the next few days to make it possible for you to reach out to your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the STOCK Act. 

*Our original post listed 19 Republicans and 1 Democrat. Since this blog's original posting, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congressman Kenny Marchant and Michael McCaul have signed onto the STOCK Act.