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Cantor slammed for ‘neutering’ the STOCK Act

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) faced criticism on Wednesday for introducing a version of the STOCK Act which many said had severely weakened the legislation.

“Rep. Cantor has opposed the STOCK Act from the start and his bill reflects that,” said Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). “The majority leader is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He is trying to take credit for finally responding to an issue that has outraged Americans, while behind closed doors he has taken the side of Wall Street and neutered the tough Senate bill.”

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In a rare showing of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 93 to 3 last week to approve the STOCK Act.

The bill prohibits lawmakers and their staff from trading stocks based on information they learn during congressional briefings and related work, among others things. It corrects the ambiguity in existing laws by empowering the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to ensure that members of Congress and their staff can be held accountable for illegally trading on non-public information.

Cantor’s version of the legislation, however, did not include provisions that require registration by political intelligence consultants, strip pension benefits from corrupt members of Congress and close loopholes in the nation’s anti-corruption laws.

“I am deeply disappointed that House leadership has chosen to remove the anti-corruption amendment Senator Cornyn and I offered to the STOCK Act,” Leahy said. “The amendment was adopted with overwhelming support in the Senate. These provisions are the culmination of years of work on these issues by Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and the House, and would strengthen and clarify key aspects of Federal criminal law to help investigators and prosecutors attack public corruption nationwide.”

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Cantor’s version of the STOCK Act also omits a provision that would require political-intelligence practitioners to adhere to the same registration requirements of lobbyists.

“It’s astonishing and extremely disappointing that the House would fulfill Wall Street’s wishes by killing this provision,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who proposed the amendment, said. “The Senate clearly voted to try to shed light on an industry that’s behind the scenes. If the Senate language is too broad, as opponents say, why not propose a solution instead of scrapping the provision altogether?”

The bill is set for a House vote Thursday.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Here’s why Trump is right — a recession would likely doom his re-election

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

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WATCH: Climate activists chant ‘failure of leadership’ at Tom Perez after DNC votes against climate debate

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Activists walked out of the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting in San Francisco after the organization voted against allowing a climate change debate during the 2020 primary.

DNC Chair Tom Perez imposed strict rules on the debates, which prevented a climate change debate from occurring. Climate activists had forced a vote, hoping to overrule the party boss.

"The Democratic Party needs the energy, motivation, and organizing capacity of young people to defeat Trump in 2020. But Tom Perez keeps shooting the party in the foot by rejecting that energy and turning it away," the Sunrise Movement said in a statement.

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DNC votes against allowing a climate change debate amongst the 2020 hopefuls

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