Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Hearing on S.1879 - "The International Monetary Stability Act"
10:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank our witness for testifying today.

As more and more countries in Latin America, move toward using the dollar as their currency, both officially and unofficially, we need to study and explore the possible ramifications of these actions. I am very interested in hearing about your bill, Senator Mack, and the Department of the Treasury's opinion on it.

This is a very interesting issue that could have long term consequences on our country's relations with the rest of our hemisphere. More and more Latin American countries are looking toward dollarization, Ecuador being the latest. How this will affect relations between our country and Latin America is something we must study thoroughly.

Senator Mack's bill would make it easier for countries to convert to the dollar by allowing the Treasury to reduce seigniorage. The seigniorage reduction will reduce both budget and political hurdles that countries considering dollarization currently face.

The news of Ecuador's dollarization makes this hearing even more timely. I applaud you Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing and your hard work on this issue. I look forward to hearing from Treasury to hear their opinions on this issue. I also want to continue to learn from Senator Mack about his views on this issue and about his bill.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.