Bill to Prevent Future Enrons, WorldComs Signed into Law

WASHINGTON, DC – President Bush was right to sign tough new legislation designed to help prevent future scandals such as Enron, but the law will be meaningless unless the federal government is committed to enforcing it, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) said today. Carper was on-hand at the White House to see the bill signed into law. Carper is a member of the Senate Banking Committee that largely drafted the bill. “The nation must know its government is committed to uncovering corporate dishonesty and corruption and stopping it before more damage is done. At Enron, employees were locked out of selling their stock while senior officials bailed out. That is wrong, and will now be stopped. What is good for the goose is good for the gander,” Carper said. The legislation creates an independent board to oversee the accounting industry, strengthens the Securities and Exchange Commission, increases corporate responsibility and toughens auditor independence standards. Carper sits on three full Senate committees that have investigated corporate accounting abuses, and was part of months-long hearings in the Senate Banking Committee that produced this law. “Investors should have confidence that there are rigorous auditing standards that exist in this country. They should know there is a strong, independent, knowledgeable entity that is going to make sure those auditing standards are enforced. The standards are in place. The enforcement must follow,” Carper said. Carper praised Senate Banking Committee Chairman Paul Sarbanes for his thoughtful approach and determination to draft legislation that was both effective and had broad support. “This legislation should help restore some confidence in the market,” Carper said. “Markets will never, and can never, be made to guarantee returns on a family’s investment. But there are steps we can take – such as this bill – that will better protect investors and better prevent future Enrons before they cause so much damage.” SATELLITE FEED: 4:15- 4:20 p.m. / Galaxy 3 / Transponder 7 /Downlink 3840 Standard Audio 6.2 & 6.8, Trouble Line 202-224-1278