Campaign Legal Center – Common Cause – CREW
Democracy 21 – League of Women Voters – OMB Watch – Public Citizen
Project on Government Oversight – Sunlight Foundation – U.S. PIRG


Below are two letters sent today to all House members from reform groups, urging swift passage of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” the STOCK Act, with provisions included to close serious loopholes in the laws to prevent corruption of public officials.

Also enclosed is a letter sent today by reform groups to House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, urging them to schedule the Senate-passed STOCK Act for a vote in the House. Passage by the House of the Senate-passed bill would allow it to be sent immediately to President Obama for his signature.

The reform groups include: the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, OMB Watch, Public Citizen, Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation, and U.S. PIRG.

According to the letter sent to House Leaders:

In the event you are not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill for a vote, we strongly urge you to schedule for a House floor vote the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, sponsored by Reps. Timothy Walz (D-MN) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and co-sponsored by 279 House members, or nearly two-thirds of the House.  Absent your willingness to provide the House with the ability to vote on the Senate-passed bill, it is essential that the House have the opportunity to vote on H.R. 1148.

The letter further states:

Important provisions added on the Senate floor to strengthen the legislation should also be in order as amendments to H.R. 1148, including the legislation fixing the honest services and gratuities statutes, sponsored in the House by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) and unanimously reported out by the House Judiciary Committee.

The letter to House Leaders concludes:

We strongly urge you to take steps to promptly provide the House with the opportunity to vote on the Senate-passed STOCK Act. If you are not willing to do this, we strongly urge you to schedule the House STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, and the Sensenbrenner-Quigley bill as an amendment to H.R. 1148, for floor action by the House.

In a letter sent to all House members, urging passage of the Senate STOCK Act, the reform groups stated:

The Senate-passed bill, S. 2038, makes clear that the laws against insider trading apply to Congress and those who do business with Congress. The legislation also establishes real-time disclosure requirements for trading activity by members of Congress and the Executive Branch and closes major loopholes in the crucial honest services fraud statute and the gratuities statute so that important anti-corruption laws can again be effectively enforced.

The letter to House members states that if the House Republican leadership is not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill, House members should vote for the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, and should vote to add the bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representatives Sensenbrenner and Quigley to fix the laws to close loopholes in the anti-corruption laws. Companion legislation to the Sensenbrenner-Quigley bill was added to the STOCK Act passed by the Senate last week.

The letter concludes:

The Senate has passed important ethics and anti-corruption legislation at a time when the country is deeply skeptical about Congress and the way it is conducting its business. The House of Representatives should do no less and should move quickly to pass strong new ethics rules and anti-corruption provisions.

Vote ‘YES’ on the STOCK Act and send the legislation to President Obama.

In the second letter sent to all House members, reform groups urged the House to include in the STOCK Act the bipartisan legislation added to the Senate-passed STOCK Act that closes loopholes in the laws to prevent corruption by public officials.

According to the second letter:

This legislation is essential to close serious loopholes in the nation’s anti-corruption laws that have made it far more difficult to investigate and prosecute corruption by public officials. The legislation fixes the federal gratuities statute and the honest services fraud statute to restore their ability to be used as effective laws to prevent corruption by public officials.

At a time when public confidence in Congress is being measured at all time lows, it is critically important that effective laws exist to hold government officials accountable who engage in self-dealing, abuse of public office for personal financial gain or similar kinds of public corruption. The absence of effective laws to deal with these kinds of problems both weakens the ability of the laws to serve as an effective deterrent to corruption and undermines the confidence of citizens in the integrity of their elected representatives.

The letter urges the House to either pass the Senate-passed STOCK Act and send it immediately to President Obama for his signature or if the House Republican leadership is unwilling to allow such a vote, to vote for the House STOCK Act and for the House legislation to fix the anti-corruption laws as an amendment to the STOCK Act.


February 6, 2012

The Hon. John Boehner (R-Ohio)                                                       
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
The Hon. Eric Cantor
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives

Dear Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Boehner,

Enclosed is a letter our organizations have sent to all House Members expressing our strong support for voting on and passing the Senate-passed STOCK Act and sending it immediately to President Obama for his signature.  

As you know, the Senate passed this legislation last week by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 96 to 3. President Obama has made clear he will sign the STOCK Act as soon as it reaches him.

The organizations include Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, OMB Watch, Project On Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG.

In the event you are not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill for a vote, we strongly urge you to schedule for a House floor vote the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, sponsored by Reps. Timothy Walz (D-MN) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and co-sponsored by 279 House members, or nearly two-thirds of the House.  Absent your willingness to provide the House with the ability to vote on the Senate-passed bill, it is essential that the House have the opportunity to vote on H.R. 1148.

Important provisions added on the Senate floor to strengthen the legislation should also be in order as amendments to H.R. 1148, including the legislation fixing the honest services and gratuities statutes, sponsored in the House by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) and unanimously reported out by the House Judiciary Committee.

We strongly urge you to take steps to promptly provide the House with the opportunity to vote on the Senate-passed STOCK Act. If you are not willing to do this, we strongly urge you to schedule the House STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, and the Sensenbrenner-Quigley bill as an amendment to H.R. 1148, for floor action by the House.

Sincerely,

Campaign Legal Center                                                           
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington            
Common Cause                                                                       
Democracy 21
League of Women Voters
OMB Watch
Project On Government Oversight
Public Citizen
Sunlight Foundation
U.S. PIRG
 


February 6, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives                                                                     
Washington, D.C. 20515

Enact “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” Bill Sponsored by 281 Members or Nearly Two-Thirds of House

Dear Representative:

Last week, the Senate passed the bipartisan “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” (STOCK) Act by an overwhelming vote of 96 to 3. Reform groups strongly supported this legislation.

The Senate-passed bill, S. 2038, makes clear that the laws against insider trading apply to Congress and those who do business with Congress. The legislation also establishes real-time disclosure requirements for trading activity by members of Congress and the Executive Branch and closes major loopholes in the crucial honest services fraud statute and the gratuities statute so that important anti-corruption laws can again be effectively enforced.

Our organizations strongly urge the House to vote on and pass the Senate-passed bill and send it immediately to President Obama for his signature. President Obama has made clear that he will sign the STOCK Act as soon as it reaches him.

The organizations include Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, OMB Watch, Project On Government Oversight, Public Citizen, Sunlight Foundation and U.S. PIRG.

In the event the House Republican leadership is not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill for a vote, we strongly support the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, sponsored by Reps. Timothy Walz (D-MN) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and co-sponsored by 279 House members, or nearly two-thirds of the House. Absent the ability to vote on the Senate-passed bill, it is essential that the House Republican leadership provide the opportunity for a vote on H.R. 1148 on the House floor. As The New York Times noted in an editorial (February 4, 2012), “House leaders would be foolish to weaken or delay the reform effort.”

Important provisions added on the Senate floor to strengthen the legislation should also be in order as amendments to H.R. 1148, including the legislation fixing the honest services and gratuities statutes, sponsored in the House by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) and unanimously reported out by the House Judiciary Committee.

The Senate has passed important ethics and anti-corruption legislation at a time when the country is deeply skeptical about Congress and the way it is conducting its business. The House of Representatives should do no less and should move quickly to pass strong new ethics rules and anti-corruption provisions.

Vote ‘YES’ on the STOCK Act and send the legislation to President Obama.

Sincerely,

Campaign Legal Center
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Common Cause
Democracy 21
League of Women Voters
OMB Watch
Project On Government Oversight
Public Citizen
Sunlight Foundation
U.S. PIRG


Vote to Pass the STOCK Act, Including Provisions to Close Serious Loopholes in Laws to Prevent Public Corruption

U.S. House of Representatives                                                                       February 6, 2012
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative:

Last week reform groups supported the STOCK Act in the Senate, which passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 96 to 3. A companion bipartisan bill in the House, H.R. 1148, currently is sponsored by 281 Representatives.  

In a separate letter sent today to the House, reform groups strongly urge the House to vote on and pass the Senate-passed bill and send it immediately to President Obama for his signature. President Obama has made clear he will sign the STOCK Act as soon as it reaches him.

In the event the House Republican leadership is not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill for a vote, we strongly support the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148, sponsored by Reps. Timothy Walz (D-MN) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and co-sponsored by 279 House members, or nearly two-thirds of the House. Absent the ability to vote on the Senate passed bill, is essential for the House Republican leadership to provide the opportunity for a House floor vote on H.R. 1148, which is sponsored by nearly two-thirds of House Members.

The organizations include: the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, OMB Watch, Public Citizen, Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation, and U.S. PIRG.

Our organizations also strongly support adding as an amendment to the STOCK Act, the bipartisan “Clean Up Government Act,” H.R. 2572, sponsored by Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-IL) and Mike Quigley D-IL). This legislation was reported out unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee.

The organizations include the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, OMB Watch, Public Citizen, Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation, and U.S. PIRG.

Companion legislation to H.R. 2572, known in the Senate as the “Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act,” was added to the STOCK Act legislation passed by the Senate last week.  

Unlike most bills introduced and considered in this Congress, and like the STOCK Act, the “Clean Up Government Act” in the House and the companion “Public Corruption Prosecution Improvements Act” in the Senate is bipartisan, bicameral legislation. The principal sponsors of the Senate legislation are Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

This legislation is essential to close serious loopholes in the nation’s anti-corruption laws that have made it far more difficult to investigate and prosecute corruption by public officials. The legislation fixes the federal gratuities statute and the honest services fraud statute to restore their ability to be used as effective laws to prevent corruption by public officials.

At a time when public confidence in Congress is being measured at all time lows, it is critically important that effective laws exist to hold government officials accountable who engage in self-dealing, abuse of public office for personal financial gain or similar kinds of public corruption. The absence of effective laws to deal with these kinds of problems both weakens the ability of the laws to serve as an effective deterrent to corruption and undermines the confidence of citizens in the integrity of their elected representatives.

Our groups strongly urge you to vote for the Senate passed bill if the opportunity to do so is provided and to otherwise vote for the Sensenbrenner-Quigley bill as an amendment to the House STOCK Act and for the House STOCK Act .
 
Campaign Legal Center
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Common Cause
Democracy 21
League of Women Voters
OMB Watch
Public Citizen
Project on Government Oversight
Sunlight Foundation
U.S. PIRG