Below is a letter sent by a coalition of reform groups including Democracy 21 to Chairman Joseph Lieberman and Ranking Member Susan Collins of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in support of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act,” (STOCK Act). The letter called on the Committee to report the bill to the full Senate at its markup of the legislation tomorrow.

The organizations include: the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, the Sunlight Foundation, and U.S. PIRG.

The groups have sent several letters to members of Congress and congressional leadership in support of the STOCK Act, and calling for its swift passage.

According to Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer:

Yesterday, a Gallup poll was released that found that 64% of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as low or very low, the worst such ratings for members in Gallup‘s history of polling.

This is powerful support for moving forward promptly with the STOCK Act, as well as other government integrity reforms. At a moment when the American people are facing very difficult personal economic times, Congress should act swiftly to prevent members of Congress from engaging in insider trading and misusing their offices for personal gain.

The full text of the letter follows below.

The Hon. Joseph Lieberman, Chairman                                              December 13, 2011
The Hon. Susan Collins, Ranking Member
Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Support the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act”
And Send Strong Legislation to the Senate Floor for Full Consideration

Dear Chairman and Ranking Member:

Our organizations – the Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen, the Sunlight Foundation  and U.S. PIRG – strongly support passage of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act” (STOCK Act), designed to prevent congressional insider trading.

We urge the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs to approve a strong version of the legislation at its markup on Wednesday and send it to the Senate floor for final passage.

The STOCK Act provides a clear and unambiguous application of the laws against insider trading to members of Congress and their staff, and others who do business with Congress. The Act also provides for disclosure to ensure compliance with the law.

The STOCK Act has widespread support, including strong bipartisan support from members of Congress. We urge the Committee to follow through on the public’s expectation that Congress will act promptly to address this important issue.

The Committee is expected to mark-up legislation that embodies key elements of the legislation sponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.), and by 25 other Senators as well. We urge the Committee to report the bill tomorrow and the Senate to act on the legislation either before the Senate adjourns this year or at the outset of next year’s session.

Respectfully Submitted,

Campaign Legal Center
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Common Cause
Democracy 21
Public Citizen
Sunlight Foundation
U.S. PIRG