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Jump Start Our Business Startups Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MILLER of North Carolina. Madam Chair, I hate to be the only one at the campfire not singing ``Kumbaya,'' but I do part company with my President and with the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee in their support for this bill.

I do fear that if we cut back on the transparency and we cut back on the investor protections, it really is only going to take one or two well-publicized cases of investors losing their shirts, losing their retirement savings because they got defaulted for small business capital to dry up, to get harder to come by instead of easier to come by.

But I do agree that governments should not go to great lengths to protect people who really can fend for themselves, who are more sophisticated, and who really knowingly decide that they do not want protections.

This amendment increases the exception from SEC registration to 2,000 investors, provided that no more than 500 are not accredited investors. I think the importance of accredited investors, or their sophistication, may well be overstated. But they are, in fact, people who have well more than the net worth of most Americans. They have a net worth of $1 million, without consideration of equity in their home, which used to be more than it is now; or have an income of $200,000, annual income of $200,000 for an individual or $300,000 for a couple.

More important, they actually have to fill out a form to ask to be an accredited investor. They have to opt in. They have to decide that they do want to be outside of some of the protections of the SEC. So this will limit some of the effect of the bill to investors who are somewhat more able to fend for themselves, are somewhat more sophisticated, and are more able to take a loss in investing in a small business that may be a greater risk of an investment, an investment which may be more of a risk but may also promise more reward.

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