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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced on Wednesday the creation of the Senate Republican Capital Markets Task Force. The Task Force will be headed by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and will advise the Republican Caucus on U.S. business competitiveness issues with a specific focus on capital markets and will help facilitate a dialogue between the Senate and the U.S. capital markets community.

"Mike has been a leader on U.S. competitiveness issues throughout his tenure in the Senate, and his service on the two Senate committees of jurisdiction makes him uniquely qualified to lead this task force," said McConnell. "We have seen the growth that Republican economic policies have produced in our economy, and we must continue to facilitate responsible economic growth through sound policy decisions. Mike's expertise on issues of tax and regulatory relief and global competitiveness makes him a natural choice to lead this group as Republicans work to keep our economy healthy."

Senator Crapo said, "Our capital markets are at a crossroads and there are major regulatory, tax, and liability questions which need to be addressed in order to ensure that U.S. capital markets remain competitive. The competitiveness of our capital markets has a very significant impact on the health and growth of our economy. The mission of the Capital Market Task Force is to act as the Republican Leadership's outreach effort to the capital markets community, provide a forum for Task Force Members and staff to interact with leaders in the industry, and to advise the Republican Caucus on capital markets issues during the 110th Congress. I commend Leader McConnell's foresight in recognizing this important issue and setting up this task force and look forward to working with him and those who are interested in the issue."

Sen. Hutchison, Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, said, "I applaud Senator McConnell for recognizing the importance of capital markets competitiveness by creating the Task Force which Sen. Crapo will chair. In May, Sen. Crapo joined me when I chaired a Republican Policy Committee roundtable in New York City on this issue. We heard from leading academics and Wall Street executives that the United States faces increasing global challenges in the financial sector due to government policies that lead to excessive regulation, taxation, and litigation. I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Crapo and other Senators in keeping the U.S. capital markets as the world's leader."

Senator Crapo currently serves on the Finance Committee, where he is a member of the Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness. He is also a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance, and Investment.

The Senate Republican Capital Markets Task Force will evaluate U.S. laws and business practices, as well as threats to U.S. competitiveness to determine how the U.S. can maintain its competitive advantage globally. The Task Force will facilitate an exchange of views as to how U.S. laws and policies can be adapted to ensure U.S. businesses can continue to compete in the global market.

The following Senators have already agreed to serve as members of the Capital Markets Task Force for the 110th Congress. The Task Force is open to all members of the Republican Conference:

Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chair
Senator Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah)
Senator Jim Bunning (R-Ky.)
Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)
Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)
Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)
Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Senator John Sununu (R-N.H.)