|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Friday, March 23, 2001||202-224-0894|
Senators Phil Gramm and Charles E. Schumer today applauded the Senate's approval of S.143, the Competitive Market Supervision Act, which will reduce securities transaction and registration fees collected by the Securities and Exchange Commission by as much as $8.9 billion over five years.
In addition, the bill would strengthen the SEC by allowing the agency to bring the pay of its employees in line with the higher pay schedules of other federal financial regulators.
The bill was approved on the evening of March 22 by the full Senate. It was introduced January 22 by Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and by Schumer, a member of the Banking Committee. The bill was approved March 1 by the Senate Banking Committee.
"Even though no one intended it, we collect six times as much in fees in securities transactions, tender fees and fees on initial public offerings as we need to fund the Securities and Exchange Commission,"Gramm said. "These fees will generate $28.9 billion over the next 10 years if we allow the current law to stand. Every mutual fund, every retirement program, every person saving for college or retirement will end up paying billions of dollars in fees that no one ever intended that they pay. With the vote today, the Senate has taken a vital step toward cutting these unfair fees."
The registration and transaction fees were intended to fund the operations of the SEC, but the fees now exceed the SEC's annual budget by almost $2 billion. The excess fees are funneled to the federal treasury for other uses.
"Because of the explosion of activity in our securities markets, Section 31 fees on transactions are now being used for a host of activities from constructing highways to troop readiness. While these are all worthy endeavors, they are not why Congress created Section 31 fees," said Schumer. "This bill will reduce these fees so that they don't place an unfair burden on investors, while ensuring that the SEC has the funding it needs for day to day operations and to attract new staff."
Contact Information for Sen. Schumer:
Bradley Tusk 202-224-7433