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August 1, 2014

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April 12, 2013

Obama, House Follow Senate’s Lead on STOCK Act

Updated 6:02 p.m. | Keeping with the trend of burying the news, the announcement that President Barack Obama will sign a partial rollback of the STOCK Act came in a court filing Friday in Maryland.

“Department of Justice counsel have been informed that the President will sign S. 716,” the court filing said.

The filing joint from plaintiffs and the government came in a case brought by privacy advocates and representatives of senior government employees who would be subject to the STOCK Act’s new online reporting requirements if the bill gutting them is not signed.

Earlier Friday — with about as much fanfare as the Senate did Thursday — the House voted to roll back transparency rules contained in the STOCK Act.

House and Senate leaders were spurred to action by a scathing report detailing the national security dangers that could come from a provision added in the Senate. But instead of touting those reasons, both chambers attempted to keep the process quiet in an apparent attempt to avoid the political vulnerability that could come from instituting less transparency in government.

Both chambers passed the bill by unanimous consent after leaders in both parties and the White House refused to answer CQ Roll Call’s questions about the process all week.

The bill, which will now head to the president’s desk, would exempt federal employees and congressional staff from a STOCK Act provision requiring them to publish their financial holdings online. The president, vice president, members of Congress, congressional candidates and those in Senate-confirmed positions will still have to comply with the reporting rules, but the bill delays implementation of that portion until next year.

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.

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