Why is it the American people are held to one set of laws, but members of Congress are held to some lesser standard? In response, I introduced the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (“STOCK Act”), which gets its first Senate hearing today. It prohibits members and employees of Congress and the executive branch from trading or disclosing any nonpublic information they obtain because of their status and to report any securities transaction in excess of $1,000 within 90 days.

Lawmakers often have inside knowledge of laws and regulations as they are being written, before the details are released publicly. They receive classified briefings on issues such as the financial stress on the banking system in Europe. They may sit on committees that can steer taxpayer money not just to their home district…

It’s perhaps not surprising that this bill has run into resistance on Capitol Hill over the years. But times may be changing. In the House, more than 100 cosponsors are supporting the House version of the act, championed by Reps. Louise Slaughter and Tim Walz. In the Senate, the idea has bipartisan support.