Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

Roby: 'Government officials should play by the same rules as everyone else'

February 9, 2012
Press Release

Martha Roby made the following comments today after voting in favor of the STOCK Act, which the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 417-2:

“The genesis of the STOCK Act was a desire to ensure that Members of Congress and other high ranking government officials cannot personally profit from trading securities based on insider information. Most people agree that current law already prohibits that practice, but I fully support efforts to clarify the law and promote transparency and accountability in Congress. The guiding principle is that government officials should play by the same rules as everyone else, and I think certain provisions of the STOCK Act would reinforce that concept in law. I was pleased to vote in favor of these provisions today.

“I am concerned that, in the rush to draft this legislation, other areas of the legislation that do not directly relate to the ban on insider trading were not well-conceived. For example, some have argued that the STOCK Act could require up to 300,000 federal employees to file paperwork each month with the government on routine financial transactions. Members of Congress are already subject to strict financial disclosure requirements, and that should not change. However, this new, sweeping requirement on so many federal workers strikes me as overly broad and bureaucratic.

“Our highest priority must be to restore honesty and accountability to Congress, and I supported the STOCK Act today so that the insider trading prohibition may move forward in the legislative process. As it does, I hope that provisions creating this onerous reporting requirement are improved. I look forward to evaluating the final version of the bill. “