This instant New York Times Bestseller has inspired remarkable movement on Capitol Hill concerning the problem of congressional insider trading. As Senator Scott Brown (R–Mass) wrote the other day in the Boston Herald, “Why is it that the American people are held to one set of laws, but members of Congress are held to some lesser standard?” On the very day of the book′s publication, Brown introduced the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (“STOCK Act”) for the first time in the Senate, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–NY) introduced a similar bill as well. Meanwhile, Rep. Louise M. Slaughter′s STOCK Act had been languishing in the House for six years with only nine sponsors. Two weeks after THROW THEM ALL OUT was published, her bill now has 127 co–sponsors. These bills prohibit members and employees of Congress and the executive branch from trading or disclosing any nonpublic information they obtain because of their status and to report any securities transaction in excess of $1,000 within 90 days. Public pressure has led to Senate Hearings on congressional insider trading by the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chaired by Senator Joe Leiberman (Thursday, December 1) and the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Cong. Spencer Bachus (Tuesday, December 6).
“Great credit for these initial steps toward reform goes to the American public who are just fed up with what is going on in Washington,” says THROW THEM ALL OUT author Peter Schweizer. “I′m glad that the book has provided them with the ammunition to begin the process of reform in Washington. It′s time to end crony capitalism in Washington. Information is power, and THROW THEM ALL OUT is all about informing the public and the news media about what is going on in the nation′s capital.”
Schweizer writes that it′s time to close the loophole allowing members of Congress to legally profit from trading stocks based on non–public information. He says, “These hearings will give citizens and journalists a rare opportunity to see just how serious members of Congress truly are about cleaning up the cronyism and corruption rampant in Washington. It′s a pivotal moment that will hold electoral consequences.”
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