Coalition Letter on STOCK Act to Senate

February 6, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives

Washington, D.C. 20515

Vote to Enact Senate-Passed STOCK Act, Which Includes

Provisions to Close Serious Loopholes in Laws to Prevent

Public Corruption

Dear Representative:

Last week reform groups supported the STOCK Act in the Senate, which passed by an

overwhelming bipartisan vote of 96 to 3. A companion bipartisan bill in the House, H.R. 1148,

currently is sponsored by 281 Representatives.

In a separate letter sent today to the House, reform groups strongly urge the House to vote on and

pass the Senate-passed bill and send it immediately to President Obama for his signature.

President Obama has made clear he will sign the STOCK Act as soon as it reaches him.

In the event the House Republican leadership is not willing to schedule the Senate-passed bill for

a vote, we strongly support the bipartisan House version of the STOCK Act, H.R. 1148,

sponsored by Reps. Timothy Walz (D-MN) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and co-sponsored by

279 House members, or nearly two-thirds of the House. Absent the ability to vote on the Senate

passed bill, is essential for the House Republican leadership to provide the opportunity for a

House floor vote on H.R. 1148, which is sponsored by nearly two-thirds of House Members.

The organizations include the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for

Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, OMB

Watch, Public Citizen, Project on Government Oversight, the Sunlight Foundation, and U.S.


Our organizations also strongly support adding as an amendment to the STOCK Act, the

bipartisan "Clean Up Government Act," H.R. 2572, sponsored by Representatives James

Sensenbrenner (R-IL) and Mike Quigley D-IL). This legislation was reported out unanimously

by the House Judiciary Committee.

Companion legislation to H.R. 2572, known in the Senate as the "Public Corruption Prosecution

Improvements Act," was added to the STOCK Act legislation passed by the Senate last week.

Unlike most bills introduced and considered in this Congress, and like the STOCK Act, the

"Clean Up Government Act" in the House and the companion "Public Corruption Prosecution

Improvements Act" in the Senate is bipartisan, bicameral legislation. The principal sponsors of

the Senate legislation are Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Cornyn (R-TX).

This legislation is essential to close serious loopholes in the nation's anti-corruption laws that

have made it far more difficult to investigate and prosecute corruption by public officials. The

legislation fixes the federal gratuities statute and the honest services fraud statute to restore their

ability to be used as effective laws to prevent corruption by public officials.

At a time when public confidence in Congress is being measured at all time lows, it is critically

important that effective laws exist to hold government officials accountable who engage in selfdealing,

abuse of public office for personal financial gain or similar kinds of public corruption.

The absence of effective laws to deal with these kinds of problems both weakens the ability of

the laws to serve as an effective deterrent to corruption and undermines the confidence of

citizens in the integrity of their elected representatives.

Our groups strongly urge you to vote for the Senate passed bill if the opportunity to do so is

provided and to otherwise vote for the Sensenbrenner-Quigley bill as an amendment to the

House STOCK Act and for the House STOCK Act .

Campaign Legal Center

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

Common Cause

Democracy 21

League of Women Voters

OMB Watch

Public Citizen

Project on Government Oversight

Sunlight Foundation


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