|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
CONTACT: Jesse Jacobs - 202-224-4524
|Monday, October 21, 2002||
Craig Davis - 202-224-7391
Senator Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), the Chairman of the Senate, Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, is calling into question the Bush Administration's commitment to adequately fund the agency responsible for working to restore the American publics' confidence in their capital markets.
In a letter to President Bush, in which he urged an increase in funds for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Sarbanes wrote that "I am writing to ask you to direct the Office of Management and Budget to work with Congressional appropriators to ensure that any further Continuing Resolutions will include funding sufficient to enable the Commission to begin to carry out its responsibilities under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002." The legislation, which the President signed on July 30 authorizes $776 million for the SEC in FY 2003, a significant increase above the $438 million appropriated in FY2002.
"The purpose of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is to assure the integrity of our capital markets and restore investor confidence. The role of the Securities and Exchange Commission is pivotal to achieving these goals, but the Commission's effectiveness will be seriously compromised unless it has additional budget resources, which the current Continuing Resolution does not provide. Acknowledging that the resources available to the Commission have not kept pace with the dramatic increase in recent years of investment activity, filings and enforcement cases, both the House and the Senate, acting independently, approved an authorization for FY2003 of $776 million. Subsequently the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $750 million for FY2003. These figures are significantly higher than the FY2002 levels at which the Continuing Resolution funds the Commission."
"Given the decline in investor confidence, the volatility in the markets and the uncertain state of the economy, it is urgent that the SEC have budget resources adequate to carry out its responsibilities. I am hopeful that, until the FY 2003 appropriation is enacted, the OMB and the Congressional appropriators can work together to ensure that any further Continuing Resolutions include an adequate level of funding for the Commission."
Full text of the letter is available here.