US Senator Scott Brown boasts in his most recent television ad that President Obama signed into law a bill he filed to prevent members of Congress from using insider information to profit in the stock market.
“So I filed a bill to stop insider trading in Congress, and got it passed and signed into law,” Brown says in the ad, which shows him standing with Obama at a White House signing ceremony.
Brown’s bill, however, was not signed into law. The bill that made it to Obama’s desk was introduced by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Connecticut independent.
As the Globe reported in May, Brown’s bill was hastily drafted and set aside by a congressional committee, although he did push the issue and was invited to the signing ceremony with Obama.
Brown’s spokeswoman, Alleigh Marre, released a statement this afternoon that did not address why Brown’s ad says Obama signed his bill.
“Scott Brown introduced the STOCK Act in the US Senate, fought for its passage and he was proud to be invited to the White House bill signing where President Obama complimented him for doing a good job,” Marre said.
Marre also pointed out that Lieberman credited Brown and two other senators with proposing bills that formed the basis of his bill. Marre said Brown worked with Lieberman, and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Susan Collins of Maine to help write and strengthen the bill.
Brown, a Republican, is in a close reelection race with Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat.
Here’s the relevent excerpt from the Globe story, which explains Brown’s role in the legislation, known as the STOCK Act:
Within three days of a “60 Minutes’’ broadcast that suggested some members of Congress were financially profiting from advance knowledge of government regulations, Brown introduced a measure blocking anyone in Congress from using nonpublic information to influence personal investments. Brown muscled his way into the headlines in a race against a fellow Senate freshman, Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York who was drafting her own version of the same bill.
Brown has said that he does his homework and that he reads the bills that come before Congress. But in this instance, Brown’s measure was so hastily drafted that it contained exact language lifted from an earlier House bill on the same subject. And even after Brown’s draft was set aside by the Homeland Security Committee in favor of another version, Brown continued to claim credit in an encounter with President Obama. In January, Brown intercepted the president as he departed the House after his State of the Union speech.
“My insider trading bill is on Harry’s desk right now,’’ Brown told the president, referring to Reid. “Tell him to get it out. It’s ready to go.’’
As television cameras caught the moment, Obama promised Brown: “I’m going to tell him. I’m going to tell him to get it done.’’
The president signed the bill on April 4, with Brown among a handful of Democrats and Republicans invited to the White House ceremony.
It stretches credibility for Brown to claim the act as his own, said Wendy Schiller, an associate professor of political science at Brown University. But the rookie showed a quick response and deft footwork that could help him rack up more significant achievements if Massachusetts voters decide to send him back to the Senate for a full term.
“What’s fortunate for Scott Brown is that most people from Massachusetts aren’t expecting much from him legislatively,’’ she said. “His reelection campaign is not about what he’s done legislatively, but what he’ll do if you give him six more years.’’Michael Levenson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.