October 25, 2007


McConnell, Crapo discuss legislation on CNBC business channel

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, Chairman of the newly-created Senate Republican Capital Markets Task Force, told a national audience today legislative recommendations are forthcoming to reverse alarming trends for U.S. investors and business. Crapo and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, during a joint appearance today on CNBC's "Power Lunch" program, said the task force will seek improvements in tax policy, regulatory guidelines and other changes to restore U.S. financial leadership on the world markets.

McConnell credited Crapo with the idea of creating the task force. He said Crapo came to him with concerns that U.S. financial markets are losing leadership in the world market, and that made Crapo the natural choice to chair the task force. Crapo said the U.S. is losing ground because foreign markets are maturing, but that our country's tax policies are also to blame as the U.S. falls behind its foreign competitors on new business creation and other business issues.

"Our tax climate, which is potentially changing for the worse, the litigation threats, the regulatory burden, the attitude of our regulatory regime of 'gotcha' instead of trying to work with business, is making the climate for capital formation in the U.S. negative rather than positive," Crapo said. "We have lost about a third of our market in the last five years. When you look at the mega-IPOs, we have gone from a 57 percent share of the world market in 2001 to just a 13 percent share of the market today. We need to address these issues."

McConnell said the Capital Markets Task Force is empowered to recommend statutory solutions to financial competitiveness issues. "America being the leader in world business is absolutely essential to our future," McConnell told CNBC.

Crapo said new tax proposals coming out of the House of Representatives today contain many dangerous proposals that would result in driving more business overseas. The proposals, introduced by House Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-New York) also assume many of the pro-growth tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 would expire in 2011. To prevent these tax hikes, Crapo has introduced legislation, S. 502, to make permanent the 2003 rate reductions on capital gains and dividends. Crapo's bill currently has 42 co-sponsors.

"A legislative agenda already has components, and we will work on both side of the legislative arena proposing positive, pro-business legislation and fending off proposals that would harm the business climate," Crapo said.