WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., and Ranking Member Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced Wednesday they would hold a hearing to examine how insider trading laws apply to Congress.
The hearing, requested by Committee Member Scott Brown, R-Mass., and sparked by a 60 Minutes report, is intended to clarify the laws and rules that govern members of Congress who may profit personally from non-public information they learn in the course of their work.
“Insider trading by members of Congress – if it occurs -- is a serious breach of the public trust,” said Lieberman. “No one in Congress should be enriching themselves based on information to which the general public has no access. Our hearing will set the record straight about how existing laws and ethics rules apply to Congress and whether they are sufficient to prevent unethical market trading.”
Collins said: “Elected office is a place for public service, not personal gain. We have a duty to examine and address practices that can create the appearance of wrongdoing or undermine the public’s confidence in decisions made by Congress.
“I appreciate Senator Scott Brown’s leadership on this important issue. We need to assure the American people that the decisions we make are decisions of integrity, in which their interests are put first.”
Senator Brown has introduced legislation intended to prevent members of Congress from profiting on information to which only they are privy. That bill has been referred to HSGAC. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., will introduce similar legislation soon. House members have introduced similar bills.