House Clerk Karen Hass, citing Congressional Budget Office calculations, said that it will cost a total of $4 million for computers and software needed to set up a House-Senate system to track congressional Wall Street trading, and another $1 million a year to manage it.
Last week, the Senate put a price on their piece of the project at $1.5 million to build the system and $200,000 a year to manage it. Secrets reported those numbers Monday. The difference is likely because the House has 435 members, the Senate just 100.
According to CBO fact sheet, “CBO estimates that implementing the financial disclosure system required under S. 2038 would cost $4 million over the 2012-2013 period primarily for new computer hardware and software and additional labor. In addition, maintaining the new system would cost $1 million annually, CBO estimates. In total, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost about $9 million over the 2012-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”
The legislation requires both chambers to implement an electronic filing system for financial disclosure forms that is searchable and available to the public.
Not everybody is a fan of the Stock Act, with some suggesting that Congress fund a probe of those suspected of insider trading instead of building a costly system to look at all members. “It would be easier [and cheaper] just to give every member $10,000 and say don’t day trade,” said Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio.