Citing recent accounting scandals, which helped to send stocks plunging, Investment Company Institute President Matthew Fink sent a letter to the House of Representatives this month, urging Congress to approve full funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission before it adjourns for the year.

In a letter addressed to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Fink asked that Congress forward an appropriations bill to President Bush this year that would increase SEC funding. "Such action will help restore investor confidence in our financial markets and benefit our economy as a whole," Fink wrote.

In addition, Fink reminded Hastert that Congress had advocated funding boosts for the SEC’s 2003 budget when it approved the Sarbanes-Oxley act, the legislation designed to prevent corporate fraud that was signed into law last summer by President Bush. According to Fink’s letter, House-approved legislation authorized $776 million budget for the SEC next year. In addition, the Senate Appropriations Committee considered a bill that would allot $750.5 million to the SEC, an increase of $312 million over the commission’s 2002 budget.

"A well-funded SEC will allow it to meet its enhanced obligations in the aftermath of recent accounting scandals and to continue to provide effective oversight of our financial markets," Fink wrote.

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