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It’s time to push politics aside

When politics are put aside, Congress can function effectively.

And that might just be what’s happening in Washington, D.C., this week as congressional negotiators near a compromise on new legislation to help crack down on corporate fraud.

The package, which includes increased funding for regulatory agencies and stiffer penalties and jail sentences for violators, is likely to be presented to the House today, the Senate on Friday. And it’s likely to garner near unanimous support.

The reason is simple: Even politically motivated congressional leaders understand the crucial need for investor confidence in our free market system. And they know confidence is shaky these days.

President Bush’s call for more "corporate responsibility," and the legislative package that would help ensure that responsibility, is an important step in protecting that process.

And, more to the point, even congressional leaders aren’t immune to the losses that investors across the country have felt in recent weeks as the market plunged among news of corporate accounting scandals.

Millions of Americans have lost millions of dollars in the market’s decline. Millions of Americans are watching their retirement savings ­ often invested in the stock market ­ dwindle as the Dow drops.

And, they want Congress and our leaders to do something about the situation.

The old adage says "money talks," and that’s true in politics as well.

If so, then disappearing money must be yelling; we hope Congress and the president are listening.

We need regulations to ensure corporate responsibility and the integrity of our stock market, and we need to regain confidence in that system which has served our country well for so many years.

It’s time to push politics aside and focus on resolution ­ and responsibility.  

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