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Members of Congress must not be allowed to gain an edge on the market

I WRITE to express a slight disagreement with professors Andrew Eggers and Jens Hainmueller over their Dec. 14 op-ed “Insider trading in Congress? Not quite.’’ While I respect their work, analysis from other academic experts, such as economist Alan J. Ziobrowski, has found that members of Congress may have significantly profited because they hold an information edge on the market.

I believe strongly that members of Congress must live by the same laws that govern everyone else. We need to make it crystal clear that insider trading, or any other scheme where members use non-public information to enrich their own bank accounts, is a serious crime. To address this problem, I filed a bill in the Senate, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. I’m grateful that, after analyzing congressional stock trading, Eggers and Hainmueller do support the STOCK Act.

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I’m happy to report that on Wednesday, we got one step closer to cleaning up Washington by voting the bill out of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by an overwhelming margin.

The recent “60 Minutes’’ story exposed a number of ways that members may have used the powers of their office to benefit their personal financial and real estate portfolios. This must end. Members of Congress owe a duty to the American people to put their public service ahead of their own interests.

Now that the Senate has moved forward, the House of Representatives should stop delaying and do the same.

Senator Scott Brown

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