The House of Representatives has closed a loophole that allowed family members of representatives to trade on insider information. The loophole, discovered last month by CNN, specifically allowed House family members to avoid reporting trades exceeding $1,000. It did not appear in the Senate version of the bill.
According to CNN, Robert Walker, a Washington ethics attorney and former chief counsel for both the House and Senate Ethics Committees, “explained that the Senate bill did include a provision that covered spouses and children, but when [Eric] Cantor’s office wrote the House version…. spouses and dependent children weren’t subject to the new reporting requirements.”
Oh, Cantor is such a gem and a mensch, isn’t he?
“The House recrafted some of the provisions of it and moved some of the provisions around. In that process, some of the Senate bill that applied to filing of these new reports was moved from one section of the bill to the other,” Walker said.
Cantor’s office at first denied that they had intentionally moved anything around in the House version of the STOCK Act, but eventually admitted that he did when confronted with CNN’s information.
Why did it get changed, though? Well, if one is to believe the GOP and Cantor, there was nothing wrong with the shuffling—House ethics lawyers were consulted and it was approved. But how else does one explain the loophole other than it allowed House members to still profit on their privileged position? The pile of bullshit grows in D.C. continues to grow higher and higher.
Cantor, it should be recalled, also made damned sure that Wall Street was still allowed to gather political intelligence under the STOCK Act. There was a provision that would have eliminated this political intelligence gathering, but Cantor saw that it was removed.
Cantor’s explanation for the provision’s elimination? “That provision raises an awful lot of questions,” stated Cantor during floor debate. “There is a lot of discussion and debate about who and what would qualify and fall under the suggested language that came from the Senate. That is why we are calling for a study.”
The man is just so transparently full of bullshit that it really isn’t worth highlighting any longer.