The legislation is the most ambitious effort in years to clamp down on the personal business dealings of lawmakers, and was beefed up to cover executive branch appointees and employees.
President Obama had called on Congress to send him such a bill last month during his State of the Union speech.
"It is unacceptable for anyone, any elected official, or their staff, to profit from information that is not available to the public," said Rep.
"People in this country have a right to know and trust that officials at all levels of government are living under the same rules they are. If there is even the slightest appearance of impropriety, we ought to go ahead and prevent that from taking place. It is incumbent upon each of us to start restoring trust between the people and their elected representatives."
Lawmakers were eager to show they are getting tough on potential ethics breaches after news accounts, including a "60 Minutes" episode, detailed instances in which lawmakers and their families may have gained financially by making investments based on information not broadly known. The push to be on the right side of the issue in an election year was evidenced by the overwhelming support for the legislation in both chambers.
But the different paths taken by the House and the Senate, where
Senators objected to the decision by GOP leaders in the House to drop a provision that would clamp down on the exchange of "political intelligence" -- a newly defined area in ethics. Those who broker in political intelligence would be required to register as lobbyists under the Senate-passed bill.
"It's astonishing and extremely disappointing that the House would fulfill Wall Street's wishes by killing this provision," said Republican