Senate Passes Insider-Trading Ban

Tom Williams / AP Photo

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., talks to some of his interns on the Senate steps of the Capitol after the Senate passed a deal to raise the nation's debt limit and reduce the deficit.

It's taken only six years, but the Senate has finally passed legislation that would outlaw insider trading for lawmakers. The House passed the bill in 2006, but it died in the Senate, where it is notoriously hard to get any bills passed, let alone contentious ones. But on Thursday, the Senate voted 96–3 to approve the legislation, a stunning turnaround that came after several media organizations highlighted the fact that elected officials aren't prohibited from using private tidbits they pick up in the halls of Congress to boost their stock portfolios. President Obama called for Congress to pass the bill during his State of the Union address last month. Lawmakers are hoping the vote will help turn around Congress's dismal approval rating.