Good morning. This week, the federal government took decisive action against
corporate fraud and abuse. The Justice Department arrested several executives
who used a public company as a personal loan agency, while hiding their actions
from investors and employees. Additional investigations coordinated by our corporate
fraud task force are underway across the country. It should be clear to every
shareholder, investor and employee in America that this administration will
investigate, arrest and prosecute corporate executives who break the law.
During the last several months, I've called on Congress to pass strong reforms
to hold corporate officers accountable for their actions. This week, members
of Congress responded to that call. The House and the Senate passed bipartisan
reforms, increasing the penalties for corporate wrongdoers and creating tougher
standards for corporate auditors, so that investors and employees can trust
the accounting statements of their public companies. This legislation will help
reassure Americans that our economic system is sound and fair. I thank the Congress
for their hard work, and I look forward to signing the bill next week.
Members of the United States Senate have one more week before they head home
for August recess. I urge them to take up several important issues. The Senate
should pass trade promotion authority, which will give me a stronger hand in
negotiating foreign trade agreements. Trade agreements create good jobs and
economic growth, because they open new markets to America's farmers and ranchers
and manufacturers. I urge the Senate to get a final bill to my desk so I can
immediately take action that will create jobs and strengthen the economy.
The Senate should pass the defense appropriations bill, which includes the largest
increases in defense spending since the Reagan years. Our military needs to
plan for a long war on terror and prepare for all the missions that lie ahead.
The House passed its defense appropriations bill in June; now the Senate must
make the defense of our country a top priority.
The Senate should not go home before approving a new Department of Homeland
Security. This department will coordinate our nation's response to grave national
threats, to anticipate our enemies, analyze our vulnerabilities, and act forcefully
to address them. And the Senate must give the Department of Homeland Security
all of the authority and flexibility it needs to protect the American people.
And the Senate should protect the retirement security of American workers. In
April, the House passed pension reforms based on my proposals, to give workers
more timely information and greater control over their own retirement funds,
as well as access to professional investment advice. America's retirement security
is too important to fall victim to political game playing, and the Senate must
By taking action on these issues, the Senate can advance our national priorities
of defending freedom, protecting our homeland and strengthening our economy.
The Senate now has one week left to make progress for the American people, and
I urge them to seize the opportunity.