On the same day a Columbian editorial called for U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler to sponsor her predecessor’s bill prohibiting insider trading by members of Congress, the Camas Republican announced she would do precisely that. Herrera Beutler is commended for acting on a belief that should be shared by all Americans regardless of party: “There’s no place for insider trading in this country — not on Wall Street, and most certainly not in Congress,” she noted in her written statement.
Herrera Beutler’s announcement followed a Sunday feature on CBS TV’s “60 Minutes” in which Brian Baird, her Democratic predecessor in the House, was interviewed about how members of Congress profit from insider trading in ways that are illegal among other citizens. As of Tuesday, the bill had 19 sponsors.
The Columbian’s challenge now is extended to other members of Congress to support this effort, particularly the Washington delegation: Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Herrera Beutler’s eight cohorts from Washington in the House (10 total state representatives, starting next year).
The message to Congress from constituents is clear: Stop the preferential treatment of yourselves. Herrera Beutler noted: “I hope we pass this bill to ensure Congress keeps its focus on serving the public good.” We cannot imagine any citizen disagreeing with her. In today’s hyper-partisan political climate, such a boundless public outcry is rare.