|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Thursday, January 25, 2001||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today at a news conference with Sen. Charles Schumer on S.143, the Competitive Market Supervision Act of 2001. The bill, introduced Jan. 22, would reduce the fees collected on securities registration and transactions while assuring adequate funding for the operation of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bill would also allow the SEC to bring the pay of its employees in line with the pay of other federal financial regulators.
"We're here to announce a bipartisan proposal that is important to every worker, to every saver, to every investor in America, and that is reducing excessive fees that impose a very heavy tax on people who try to build up savings, to send their children to college, to retire or to provide for their future.
"Today, we collect a fee on the issue of every new stock. We collect a fee every time a stock is bought or sold. Those fees, when we originally wrote the law setting them up, were to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission, but what has happened, despite our best efforts to prevent it from happening, is that these fees are now generating six times as much as we need to fund the SEC.
"As a result, over the next five years every teacher retirement program, every mutual fund and every 401k in America will pay excessive fees that will total $8 billion.
"The first thing we want to do is roll these fees back to the amount needed by the SEC and then set up a structure to guarantee that whenever they're excessive, we lower them, and whenever they're inadequate, we raise them, and we always have enough money to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission.
"The second thing we do is to raise pay at the SEC to the level that is paid by the Federal Reserve and other financial regulators to guarantee that we can recruit and retain quality people.
"I am very happy that Senator Schumer has agreed to co-sponsor this bill. I believe that we are going to get a massive outpouring of support. I hope and believe that every holder of every retirement fund and every mutual fund in America will get involved in what is really a grass-roots crusade to end the abuse of these user fees that have turned into big-time taxes."