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Corporate Responsibility

Excerpt from July 24, 2002 Press Briefing with
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer

Click here for the full transcript

Q: One other thing. On the deal, you were told that there's a deal in terms of corporate accountability. Some Democrats have said not a deal yet, very, very close. Have you all been kind of given the particulars of the deal? And is it something the president definitely, absolutely could sign?

MR. FLEISCHER: The president looks forward to signing this into law. We have been briefed enough on what is in there, the changes that were made and of course the provisions that the president sought when he went to New York City and gave a speech on corporate governance involving, for example, expanding the maximum sentence from five years to 10 years for people involved in fraud, a real part of the proposal. The House's action on tough penalties is in the final agreement.

One of the issues that the administration cited that was something that we wanted to see resolved in conference dealt with the overlapping jurisdictions between the newly created Independent Accounting Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission. And under the agreement that's been reached by the conferees, there is now a bipartisan agreement to make changes to the Senate bill to strengthen the SEC oversight of this new independent board. And we're very pleased with that change.