|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Thursday, November 4, 1999||202-224-0894|
"Mr. President, success is claimed by a thousand parents. And today there are a lot of people who can claim parenthood. I am very happy to have played a part in delivering the bill before the Senate today.
"I think it represents the American legislative process at its best. It has resulted more from an effort to reach a logical conclusion than to satisfy various special interest groups. In that way, it is not unique but it is different.
"But the question is not how proud we are of this bill today. The question is, How will it look 50 years from now when it has gone from infancy to maturity?
"Obviously, after setting out a dramatic change in public policy, it is fair to set out a test for determining its success. How will people judge whether we were successful in passing this bill today? My test is, What are we trying to do in the bill? Are we trying to benefit banks or insurance companies or securities companies, or are we trying to benefit consumers and workers?
"The test that I believe we should use--the test I will use, the test I hope people looking at this bill years in the future will use--is, Did it produce a greater diversity of products and services for American consumers? Were those products better? And did they sell at a lower price? I think if the answer to those three questions is yes, then this bill will have succeeded.
"The world changes, and we have to change with it. Abraham Lincoln used to tell the story about how Government had to change all outmoded laws because they did not fit anymore, much as it would be unreasonable to expect a man to wear the same clothes he wore as a boy; that there is a nature to things and to society, and as they change, Government has to change to recognize the new reality.
"I believe today we are changing financial services in America to reflect that we do have a new century coming and we have an opportunity to dominate that century the way America dominated the last century.
"Ultimately, the final judge of the bill is history. Ultimately, as you look at the bill, you have to ask yourself, Will people in the future be trying to repeal it, as we are here today trying to repeal--and hopefully repealing--Glass-Steagall? I think the answer will be no. I think it will be no because we are doing something very different from Glass-Steagall. Glass-Steagall, in the midst of the Great Depression, thought Government was the answer. In this period of economic growth and prosperity, we believe freedom is the answer.
"This is a deregulatory bill. I believe that is going to be the wave of the future. Although this bill will be changed many times, and changed dramatically as we expand freedom and opportunity, I do not believe it will be repealed. It sets the foundation for the future, and that will be the test.
"So I am proud to have been part of this. I am proud to have worked with everybody as part of the process. It has been interesting and Government at its best. I think one of the reasons we run for public office is to get a chance to do things such as this. I am glad to have had an opportunity to play a part and urge all of my colleagues to support this dramatic move into the future."