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Mr. WOMACK. I thank the distinguished chairman for the time this afternoon, and I'd also like to offer my thanks and appreciation to my friend from Connecticut for his leadership on the issue. I am indeed an original cosponsor.
The unemployment rate in our Nation is still in excess of 9 percent. Millions of Americans are out of work. I just recently came back from my district where we had a job fair, and of the 300 or 400 jobs that were allegedly available on that particular day, there were several times more than that looking. It is a painful reminder to me that job creation is still critical to our country.
I'm also reminded as to how important it is that this job creation is linked to access to capital by businesses large and small. The slow pace of the recovery, the burdens of archaic and oftentimes unnecessary regulation have fallen disproportionately on small businesses, and particularly community banks.
As was commented on just a moment ago by the distinguished minority whip, the community banks are the lifeblood of our communities. They help a family purchase a home. They allow that mechanic the necessary capital to open his first shop. They help a chef open her first restaurant. Small businesses rely on these banks to give them a chance, a chance to take advantage of the American Dream.
Today, this Chamber has the opportunity to make it easier for community banks and small businesses to operate by removing a barrier to raising capital. So today we have the opportunity to pass H.R. 1965, and I strongly encourage my colleagues to support it. Your support will result in the fact that community banks will have the flexibility they need to raise capital without having to comply with onerous SEC regulations intended for larger banks. They will use this money in my district, the Third District of Arkansas, to create jobs, and that will be good for my district, it will be good for our State, and it will be good for America.
Again, my thanks for the time given to me by leadership and to my friend from Connecticut, and I strongly encourage support of H.R. 1965.
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