Statement of Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Nancy Pelosi, Anna Eshoo and Mike Honda on Eliminating Stock Options

July 31, 2002
Press Release

“It has been suggested that stock options as a form of compensation be eliminated. We disagree. Such a notion overlooks the role that stock options can play in the creation of start-up businesses.

Democrats held firm and passed the Sarbanes bill to crack down on corporate misconduct. Democrats are leading the tidal wave of support to prevent firms from 'relocating' to offshore tax havens. But the call to eliminate stock options could do more harm than good in a weak economy and an even weaker technology sector.

Stock options allow employees to own part of a company and to benefit directly in its success. Employee ownership has allowed high-tech companies to venture into markets, create jobs, spur innovation and fuel the recent economic boom in our country. Stock options can be an integral element in the recovery of America's technology sector.

Congress has taken decisive steps to eliminate executive abuses and corporate misdeeds. If we need to examine further action to curb corporate misconduct, we will. However, to suggest that punishing employees who now enjoy ownership benefits in their companies is an appropriate action is a mistake. Stock options can be an important factor in job creation that will help invigorate our economy.”