Oxley to End 25 Years of Service in Congress at End of 2006

November 3, 2005

Rep. Oxley announced that he will retire from Congress at the end of his current term, completing 25 years of service in Congress and a total of 33 years in elected office. Oxley was serving in the Ohio General Assembly when he won a special election for the Fourth Congressional District seat in 1981.

“It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve the people of the Fourth District in Washington. From President Reagan to George W. Bush, my goal has been to represent my constituents and my district’s conservative viewpoint,” Oxley said. “I have so many friends here who have given me support and encouragement over the years, and we’ve achieved great things as a team. There comes a time to move on, but I am incredibly optimistic about our district and nation.”

Oxley’s career spans a period in which Republicans moved from the political minority to control of the House, Senate, and White House. Failed big government policies were replaced by free enterprise thought that strengthened the U.S. economy and a commitment to a strong defense that led to the demise of the Soviet Union and communism. Oxley worked his way up to earn a reputation as a conservative leader and skilled lawmaker who has made a large impact on major legislation.

Oxley was the newest member of the small Republican minority when he arrived in Washington, but he rose to become the first committee chairman from the Fourth District in 75 years. As Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Oxley has passed landmark legislation.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the corporate reform legislation passed by Congress in the wake of major accounting scandals, bears his name. Oxley’s committee held the first hearing on the collapse of the Enron Corporation, and within months helped produce the bill signed by President Bush.

“What the law really does is enshrine the principles of honesty and accountability that I learned growing up in Ohio,” said Oxley. “You never get in trouble by doing the right thing.”

Oxley’s committee also passed the anti-terrorist financing provisions in the PATRIOT Act and the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), which stemmed from the 9/11 attacks; identity theft protections in the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act; and Check 21, which will benefit consumers by improving electronic payment systems.

Oxley was a proud supporter of the Reagan Revolution. His first major vote in Congress was on the Reagan tax cuts of 1981, which helped set the stage for record U.S. economic growth. Oxley also strongly backed the Reagan defense policies that ended the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

“President Reagan gave us the formula for economic growth,” Oxley said. “It’s not big government. It’s about keeping taxes low, making sure employers are competitive, and being strong as a nation. It all starts with freedom, and there’s a lot more of that in the world now than when I came to Congress in 1981.”

A firm believer that competition and free markets make businesses better and increase choice for consumers, Oxley’s biggest mark has been on the financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Oxley’s handiwork is visible on the financial pages every day. He was the central figure in the fight that led the major stock exchanges to report their quotes in decimals rather than fractions, saving investors millions of dollars.

Oxley played an influential role in the passage of financial services modernization legislation that allows banks, securities firms, and insurance companies to compete with each other for the consumer’s business.

Oxley was at the forefront of the revolution in telecommunications. He sponsored the spectrum auctions that have unleashed explosive growth in cellular telephones and other telecommunications services and returned $14.5 billion to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction. Key parts of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 bear his stamp.

“It was almost unthinkable when I introduced a bill that would allow cable and telephone companies to compete with each other, and that was barely ten years ago. The laws we’ve passed have unleashed the innovative genius of the American people,” Oxley said.

Oxley said such economic measures explain the resilience the U.S. economy has shown in response to shocks like 9/11, the corporate scandals, and the burst of the tech bubble.

Source: Rep. Oxley Press Release

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