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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2930, Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, and providing for Consideration of H.R. 2940, Access to Capital for Job Creators Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. SESSIONS. House Resolution 453 provides for a structured rule for the consideration of H.R. 2930 and H.R. 2940. This rule allows for all seven amendments submitted to the Rules Committee by Democrats and Republicans to be made in order.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and the underlying bills. H.R. 2930, the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act, was introduced on September 14, 2011, by my friend, the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Pat McHenry, and was reported by the Committee on Financial Services by a voice vote last week. The second bill, H.R. 2940, the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act, was introduced by the Republican majority whip, the gentleman from California (Mr. McCarthy), and also passed the Committee on Financial Services by a voice vote last week.

Both pieces of legislation have been through regular order. Members from both sides of the aisle have had opportunities to submit perfecting ideas, and those amendments have been carefully considered. Every amendment that was submitted to the Rules Committee was made in order and will be given full and fair consideration today. The chairman of the Rules Committee, the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier), has once again allowed the House to work its will through an inclusive legislative process.

On December 10, 2009, I stood on the floor, and I argued then against the rule for consideration of the bill known as the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. It should be noted that I authored two proposals amongst many Republican and Democratic amendments that were all shut out that day. Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose to advance the Dodd-Frank bill without any open process consideration. The result of that legislation has caused great concern in financial markets not just here in the United States, but it has caused financial concern around the world.

Today the Republican House is changing that course in consideration of bills from the Financial Services Committee. Today we are looking at a targeted removal of outdated regulations simply to encourage market access for millions of small businesses and to encourage not only investment but also jobs in America.

For those who are listening to this, you could consider this a jobs creation bill. So I would advance this cause down the street to the White House to encourage the President to know that this is yet another in a line of job-creating, job-saving, jobs-in-America bills that the U.S. House of Representatives is once again considering, and today, on a bipartisan basis, with every single amendment that was submitted to the Rules Committee through an open process on the floor of the House of Representatives, ready for us to move this bill and vote on that today.

Mr. Speaker, our economy has a revenue problem. The administration continues to promote policies that slow economic growth. Republicans believe we must create an environment that encourages investment in small business, really the engine of our national job creators. This underlying bill will do just that. H.R. 2930 would remove restrictions on crowdfunding, allowing companies to pool small investors so that small businesses and entrepreneurs can raise capital equity. Outdated SEC regulations do not allow business owners in search of investments to solicit or to advertise. This legislation is needed and it's being presented on a bipartisan agreement basis.

Yesterday, I met with community bankers from Texas--Scott Heitkamp, the president of Value Bank; John Jay, the president of Roscoe State Bank; and Milton McGee, with the Independent Bankers of Texas, among others, who described to me their inability to raise capital investment, not due to a lack of willing investors, but as a result of burdensome regulations which inhibit or do not allow this. They informed me that the SEC limit on individual investors restricts their ability to raise funds through community participation and local business creation. I was proud to tell them and I will tell them again today, I heard your story and we are here on the floor doing something about that that will be of immediate benefit and health to jobs and job creation in America today on the floor of the House of Representatives in a bipartisan agreement fashion.

H.R. 2940 allows for general solicitation and advertising which would attract private investment. Small, privately held companies will no longer be forced to have an existing relationship with potential investors. However, the legislation requires the SEC to ensure that investors are accredited.

As Congressman Jared Polis from Colorado, the lead today from the Rules Committee on behalf of the minority, indicated at the Rules Committee meeting yesterday that ``crowdsourcing'' investment through new advertising mediums, such as social media, would allow for access to new pools of available capital. These are exactly the kinds of ideas that are being brought today to the floor for the creation of investment dollars to help jobs in America and to make sure that we are prepared for our future.

Our Nation is in crisis. We cannot wait. And with an unemployment population of over 14 million people, we cannot continue the failed policies of government spending which have brought us to this point. Investment capital for small business continues to sit on the sidelines because of the uncertainty created by burdensome regulations and outdated rules. The underlying bills will foster job creation by simply allowing the private sector to participate in this endeavor.

The future success of our economy rests in the hands of private small business, not government. Unleashing their potential is the sole focus of this Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. The result is an economic environment that promotes growth and generates revenue as well as the creation of jobs in America.

I urge my colleagues to vote for this fair rule that allows consideration of all requested amendments and to vote for the underlying bills.

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

We're here talking about capital formation. We're here talking about entrepreneurial spirit, catching up with ideas to go to make job creation, and then for the jobs to be here in America.

That's what this bill is about today. It is about a bipartisan attempt, Republicans and Democrats working together, through regular order, to the Rules Committee, all seven amendments--Republicans and Democrats--that were submitted coming to the floor today, and us working these few hours, a chance for, I think, not only Members of Congress to effectively present their ideas and do the will of the people, but for us, perhaps more importantly, to work together to find common ground on important issues that will aid and help Americans have sounder financial footing. That's what this bill's about today.

I know there are other bills that people want to debate and want to bring to the floor. I felt that way for 4 years when the other side was, in fact, in control. But job creation through capital investment, through the formation, is what this bill's about.

I'm very proud of what we're doing here on the floor today.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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

Regarding what is on the floor today, it is important that we recognize it is a continuing trend for job growth, job creation on not just a net basis, but on a positive basis without the loss of jobs. The Federal Government creates an average of 4,000 final rules and regulations each year, and that is what inhibits job growth. That's what the prior two Congresses have been about--massive rules and regulations, not the empowerment of the free enterprise system.

We need to remember that what we are here for is to work in the best interest of making a future brighter and better for those who are with us today and those who are behind us for their future. And that's why job creation, investment, and capital formation is important.

I reserve the balance of my time

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

Congress has an opportunity today to unleash investors in American business for the benefit of capital formation in America for American companies and jobs.

Additionally, we have an opportunity because we have worked so well together. There is joint agreement to ensure the safety and soundness of financial institutions in the United States with this legislation. Reforms to company-investor relations are long overdue, long overdue that would reform the industry to make them better, stronger--to add jobs, may I add.

Congress should be doing everything we can do to help economic growth and development, to jump-start the free enterprise system and put Americans back to work. That happens through capital formation. Growing our economy and slowing Federal spending will be the best way to get this government back and the economy back on track and getting out of the rising debt and deficit that is facing this great Nation.

The underlying bills provide necessary steps today for doing just that.

So I applaud my colleagues, Mr. McHenry and Mr. McCarthy, for introducing the bills that we're discussing here today. In particular, I'm proud of my committee, the committee I've served on for 14 years, the Rules Committee, under the leadership of the gentleman from California, Dave Dreier, for making sure that this bill--the power for investment, capital formation, jobs--also included ideas, ideas from both sides of the aisle, which equally, if submitted, were given not only consideration but the green light to come to the floor today to make sure that what we did, we did together; to make sure that we speak with a voice that's very powerful about the need for us to ensure that America's greatest days lie in our future through the free enterprise system.

I'm proud of what we have done here today.

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