Tester: Strengthen STOCK Act with more accountability

Senator’s amendments to require online financial disclosure, ban former lawmakers from lobbying

(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester today took another step to bring more Montana accountability to Congress by offering two amendments to a bill banning Congressional insider trading.

Tester, a key supporter of the bipartisan Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, is pushing to require Senate candidates to file their quarterly campaign finance reports electronically so they can be reviewed online – something Tester does voluntarily.  He also signed onto an amendment barring former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists.

The STOCK Act prohibits members of Congress and their employees from using knowledge gained from their Congressional work for personal financial benefit.  The Senate is currently debating the bill.

“Montanans expect their representatives in Congress to put their service and accountability to the public above everything else,” Tester said.  “These amendments strengthen accountability by increasing online transparency and by ensuring that no one uses their influence to tilt the playing field against regular folks.  These steps should be common sense for Congress.”

Tester’s online disclosure amendment would increase access for Americans who want to know who is donating to political campaigns.  It would also save the Federal Election Commission $250,000 each year in processing costs and make disclosure reports available immediately – instead of up to three months after the filing deadline.

"Senator Tester should be commended for introducing an amendment that requires Senate candidates to report campaign contributions electronically, just like all other federal candidates already do.  In an age where secret campaign cash is king, this common-sense measure is all the more essential to shed light on the financiers of federal campaigns and save taxpayer money.  We hope that the Senate finds the courage to once-and-for all vote on and enact this important transparency reform," said Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation.

Tester’s lobbyist amendment, introduced with Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, will keep ex-lawmakers from influencing their former colleagues on behalf of special interests.  It also prevents Congressional staff from lobbying their former bosses for six years – up from today’s one year ban.  Tester does not allow his former employees who become lobbyists to lobby him.

Tester’s STOCK Act amendment on online disclosure is available online HERE.  His provision to ban former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists is online HERE.

The full STOCK Act is online HERE