Joseph Harris Jr. accomplished what few could this year: He helped write a piece of legislation that got passed. As counsel for Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) since February 2011, Harris, 32, assisted in crafting the STOCK Act, an acronym for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge. It prevents members of Congress from using nonpublic information learned on the job to make investment decisions. The bill was watered down along the way, including the elimination of a provision that would have required the registration of so-called political intelligence gatherers who could use information gleaned from activities on the Hill in stock trading. Even with the changes, the bill’s passage was a rarity, given the usual rancor between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill these days, and the sensitive nature of a bill that polices its own.
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