The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee reportedly said that he's supporting a call to commission a study on stock options.

Committee chairman Ted Stevens, R-Ark., said that he would support a call by majority leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to commission a study that examines stock options issued by public companies.

"The leader wants a study of stock options and I told him I'd support that," Stevens told a group of reporters. "I do believe we ought to have a study and see if it's being abused anywhere, in terms of adding executive compensation rather than using it for an [employee] incentive."

However, Stevens did not indicate whether he would be willing to amend a bill to block the Financial Accounting Standards Board's stock options expensing proposal, according to reports. But Stevens said that he wouldn't be a party to any group that would stop companies from issuing options to their employees.

The oft-debated FASB proposal would require companies to include the value of all employee stock options in the earnings reports they file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The House has countered with a reform measure that would require expensing options granted only to companies' top five employees.

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