President Obama Signs STOCK Act Into Law
President Obama Signs STOCK Act Into Law. Enacted Version Does Not Contain "Political Intelligence Consultant" Requirements
On April 4, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge ("STOCK") Act. An earlier Senate-passed version of the STOCK Act that was the subject of a previous Caplin & Drysdale client alert would have created a new category of lobbying registrant called a "political intelligence consultant" and required such individuals and their employers to comply with most of the registration and reporting requirements imposed on lobbyists by the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 ("LDA"). Following passage of the Senate version, the House passed a narrower version of the STOCK Act that did not include these new registration and reporting obligations. Rather than reconciling the competing House and Senate versions of the STOCK Act in conference, the Senate passed the more limited House version on March 22, 2012.
As enacted, the STOCK Act does not subject "political intelligence consultants" to LDA registration and reporting requirements. Instead, the STOCK Act directs the Comptroller General of the United States in consultation with the Congressional Research Service to submit a report on "the role of political intelligence in the financial markets" to the Congress within one year. When submitted, the Comptroller's report may spark renewed calls for legislation requiring persons and entities who gather "political intelligence" to disclose their activities. Caplin & Drysdale will follow these developments closely.
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