The battle between corporate interests and the public interest is on again this week. We are working to ensure the public interest prevails!
On Tuesday, there will be a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee because some in Congress aren’t pleased with the legislative momentum of the “Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge” (STOCK) Act, a bill with a Senate counterpart that takes aim at elected officials personally benefiting from insider trading information they are often privy to as members of select committees. As Public Citizen’s lobbying and money/politics expert Craig Holman explains,
The panel is geared toward killing the bill by arguing that congressional insider trading is already illegal, despite the fact it has never been enforced when it comes to Congress.
According to Holman, “The STOCK Act is a legislative imperative. We know that many members of Congress are active traders in the market, and they enjoy a 6 percent higher rate of return on their investments than the market. Either these members of Congress are geniuses when it comes to stock trading, or they know something the rest of us don’t – and trade on it.” We are sending a letter to lawmakers encouraging them to stop with the committee panel theatrics and go ahead and pass this bill.
On Wednesday, the House votes on the third of three anti-consumer bills designed to eviscerate the process that brings us clean air rules, food safety regulations and other sensible safeguards. This time, lawmakers will vote on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2011 (H.R. 10/S. 299). This bill is nothing short of an attempt to repeal the 21st century, so expect a statement from the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards!
Also on Wednesday, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, will be holding a seminar during the MIT Knight Journalism Program’s Medical Evidence Boot Camp in Cambridge, Mass.
And on Thursday, we expect a vote in the Senate on the nomination of Richard Cordray to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is still not fully functional because it lacks a director! Republicans are threatening to block the nomination because they want to first weaken the agency before it even gets fully off the ground. Have they already forgotten about the 2008 Wall Street crash? Look for a showdown on this one.