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Securities Law Technical Corrections Act of 2007

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Location: Washington, DC


SECURITIES LAW TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - December 05, 2007)

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Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3505, the Securities Law Technical Corrections Act of 2007, a measure to make technical corrections to the various securities laws, and I thank Mr. Scott for his support for this measure and also Chairman Frank and Ranking Member Bachus for advocating that this come to the floor today.

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, Congress enacted the Federal securities laws of the 1930s and the 1940s. Over many years, Congress has amended these laws to adopt innovation and growth in the securities industry. Securities laws have become incredibly complex and technical due to the intricate and global markets we have today.

The goal of these laws is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets, and to facilitate capital formation and promote competition. These laws range from governing over the initial issuance and registration of securities to the oversight of financial reporting and registration of people involved in the sale of securities. The laws also regulate the purchase and sale of securities, securities brokerage firms and securities exchanges, and they also have been responsible for the rules of the creation and operation of mutual funds and those laws governing the operation of investment advisors, all good things.

As Members of Congress, we have a responsibility to review laws that we pass to ensure that they are current and that they are up to date. Most importantly, Congress needs to clarify that these laws are well-crafted so that agencies who administer and enforce them are able to do so without causing unnecessary confusion to investors, to market participants and the courts.

Keeping the security laws current is a worthwhile undertaking. One such example where there is need to update our securities laws which are included in this legislation is to address the repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. It was repealed, as Mr. Scott mentioned, in the 2005 energy bill because it was no longer necessary.

But it was originally adopted to deal with circumstances that existed in the 1930s and 1940s when the commission was restructuring the utility industry. At that point, a number of holding companies would have owned minority stakes in utilities and other holding companies and they may have held substantial equity assets that caused them to meet the investment company definition at that time.

Today, virtually all utility holding companies operate throughout wholly owned subsidiaries and, thus, do not have investment company status issues any different from any other type of holding company. So utility holding companies no longer need to be treated differently than any other type of company for purposes of determining whether they meet the definition of investment company.

H.R. 3505 makes almost 50 technical changes to the Federal securities laws. Mr. Speaker, I want to note that the Securities and Exchange Commission supports these changes.

Once again I want to thank my colleague Mr. Scott, along with Ranking Member Bachus and our chairman, Chairman Frank, for their support of this legislation, and I urge all of our colleagues to support it.

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