By LARRY MARGASAK
WASHINGTON (AP) — Some members of Congress want to include executive branch employees in a bill that would ban lawmakers from using nonpublic information to made stock trades. The bill also would require public reporting of new securities transactions within 30 days, all part of an effort by Congress to boost its dismal approval ratings that are now in the teens.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters Tuesday that if the bill now before the Senate isn’t expanded to include the executive branch, he would add that provision to a bill expected to receive a House vote sometime in February.
A Senate amendment proposed by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would include the executive branch.
“Why would this rule not apply to executive employees in the administration?” Coburn asked.
Actually, parts of the bill already apply, but not the 30-day reporting requirement.
Standards of conduct for the executive branch prohibit government workers from “engaging in financial transactions using nonpublic information, or allowing the improper use of nonpublic information to further private interests.” Senior executive branch officials must publicly file annual financial disclosure reports – the same as members of Congress and their senior staff.
It was unclear when the Senate would be ready to vote on the legislation.
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