BUSH SPEECH ON CORPORATE REFORM FALLS SHORT
WASHINGTON: Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney responded strongly to President Bush's speech on corporate reform today, challenging the administration to stand up for competitive pay for SEC employees and to endorse stronger reforms. Maloney has been active in efforts to provide competitive pay to SEC Employees and is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology and Economic Growth of the Financial Services Committee. Her statement follows:
"A glaring omission in the President's speech today was his failure to endorse pay parity for SEC employees. The President is trying to run the SEC on the cheap and denying pay parity for its employees.
"I am glad the President proposed some additional SEC funding but he failed to include pay parity and even with his increase he falls short of the SEC authorization the House approved on June 25. SEC pay parity is supported by bipartisan leaders in Congress, the SEC, the securities profession, organized labor, even Harvey Pitt - but opposed by the Administration I have already circulated a bipartisan letter to the appropriators which was signed by 27 members of the Committee on Financial Services including Chairman Michael Oxley (R-OH) requesting funding for pay parity. The President should join this effort and stop opposing it.
"Furthermore, the President missed an opportunity today to rebuild the public's trust in markets by endorsing the strong reforms in the Sarbanes legislation. After Enron, WorldCom and a host of other scandals, it is shocking that the President could still oppose the creation of an independent accounting oversight board that won't be beholden to the industry. He also failed to recognize that the opinions of accountants who offer consulting services to the companies they audit are inherently compromised.
Employees at other federal banking agencies make up to 40 percent more than SEC employees.
Overall the President's new SEC funding proposal falls far short of legislation that passed the House with bipartisan support on June 25. The House SEC authorization included $776 million for the SEC in FY03 - including $76 million for pay parity. President Bush proposed $100 million in addition to the $20 million he put forth earlier this year. Both proposals fall far short of the $338 million increase that passed the House.