UPDATE (Dec. 17 9:07 a.m. ET): Last night, CBS News posted an early version of this weekend's 60 Minutes episode with the following text: "Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the House will take up the STOCK Act in 2012. His remarks to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl came after he previously angered some on Capitol Hill by blocking progress on a ban on congressional 'insider trading.'" You can watch the 60 Minutes clip online here. We applaud Rep. Cantor's plans and look forward to seeing him move the STOCK Act to the floor quickly. You can rest assured that we'll be following every step of this bill's journey here on Fool.com.
UPDATE (Dec. 16 4:50 p.m. ET): Thanks to all your grassroots efforts, Rep. Cantor's office contacted us to clarify his position on the STOCK Act. According to his spokesperson, "Complete and total transparency is the key to restoring public trust. Sunlight goes a long way, which is why we are committed to moving forward in a reasoned and responsible way. In this instance, a large group of bipartisan Members on the Committee felt the legislation was flawed and being recklessly moved solely in response to media pressure. Members on both sides of the aisle wanted more time to gather information and develop responsible alternatives. Complicating matters is the fact that the legislation has been referred to five other committees. Therefore, the Chairman determined that in the interest of crafting the most effective response, the markup would be rescheduled." Also, Rep. Cantor made an on-the-record statement about the STOCK Act here.
It would appear that Rep. Cantor is indeed for the kind of transparency core to the STOCK Act. Stay tuned next week for more on this story, Fools.
For years, Congress has stalled on passing a law to ban insider trading on Capitol Hill. Three times, it's gone to committee. Three times, it's died there.
This year is different. With 235 Congressmen backing the bill, The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (the "STOCK Act"), finally got a fair hearing before the House Financial Services Committee last week. But no sooner had the committee scheduled the STOCK Act for final mark-up (prior to consideration by the full House) than House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blocked it. Again. For the fourth time.
Arguing that "media pressure" was behind the bill's sudden popularity, Cantor ordered his allies on the committee to suspend consideration and "develop appropriate alternatives" instead.
That's right: Despite overwhelming momentum and bipartisan support, one man is now thwarting the will of a clear majority of U.S. Congress members -- and countless American citizens.
Allowing Capitol Hill to continue to profit on insider information is wrong. We're willing to bet a majority of American voters agree. We're not backing down, and we will be heard.
That's why we're calling on every angry citizen to join us in demanding an explanation from Eric Cantor on why he is blocking this important bill:
- Tweet @EricCantor @GOPLeader with the hashtag #PassTheStockAct and his office phone number.
- Post on his Facebook wall.
- Leave a message at his DC office at 202-225-2815.
- Email him.
- If you'd like to learn more about the STOCK Act, read this article: Support Your Local "Sheriff" in Supporting the STOCK Act
Fool contributor Rich Smith contributed to this article. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.