U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) released a message for Massachusetts today after two major pieces of legislation that he authored and championed passed the Senate on Thursday. Both are set to receive President Obama's signature soon.
The Brown-Merkley CROWDFUND Act, which will help small businesses and entrepreneurs raise capital from small dollar investors, passed as part of a larger jobs package. Republican leaders in the House quickly signaled that the Senate-passed bill will be approved next week and sent to the president.
In the same vote series Thursday afternoon, Senator Brown's bill to ban insider trading in Congress, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, passed with House amendments after weeks of negotiations. The bill is now headed to President Obama's desk two months after Senator Brown famously asked the president to help pass the STOCK Act during a "hot mic" moment after the State of the Union address.
Hi, I'm United States Senator Scott Brown.
In one day this week, two key bills that I introduced were passed -- one dealing with jobs, and the other with ethics reform. While this Congress is famous for its divisions, we saw what this place can look like when people decide to ditch the party politics and put America first.
On Thursday, the Senate passed my bipartisan crowdfunding bill as part of a jobs package that will help get new businesses started and to grow.
In Massachusetts, we have a great thing. It's called the Cambridge Innovation Center, a place where there are dozens of startup businesses operating under one roof. I've been there, and I've seen the young entrepreneurs full of the innovative ideas of the future. In fact, they are our future.
The biggest challenge they face is often getting capital to test their ideas in the marketplace. Without financing, entrepreneurs can't apply for a patent or invest in a piece of equipment.
Crowdfunding makes that capital available by allowing every American to invest in a startup or a great idea. This is important because, in many places, banks are constrained and aren't lending. But crowdfunding means you can bypass Wall Street and go straight to Main Street--your friends, family, or a social network--for financing.
New businesses are the main source of job creation in the United States, and with crowdfunding, we can crank the engine of those businesses, creating jobs and help get our economy moving again.
Also on Thursday, we finally sent my bill to ban insider trading in Congress--the STOCK Act--to the president so he can sign it into law. This is an important step toward ending the "deficit of trust" that is hurting our democracy.
You might recall the "60 Minutes" investigation last November. It showed that members of Congress, their staff, and other federal employees, may have been engaging in insider trading and using nonpublic information for their personal gain. I was shocked after seeing the report, so I filed a bill to fix the problem.
Insider trading is wrong, whether it happens on Wall Street or Capitol Hill. I believe those who make the laws should live under the same laws as everyone else. Pretty simple.
Besides making the ban on insider trading clear, the STOCK Act provides greater transparency by requiring Members of Congress and highly-paid federal officials to disclose all their trading activity within 45 days. That's a good thing.
This bill also ends sweetheart deals where Members have been given special opportunities to invest in companies that were not widely available to anyone or everyone else.
By passing the STOCK act, we have taken a step toward restoring trust with the American people.
Finally, I want to say something about bipartisanship. We are now proving that when we focus on working together, we can achieve great things. Senators Merkley and Bennet and I had two different crowdfunding bills. Senator Gillibrand and I had two different bills to ban insider trading in Congress. But, rather than fight about which bill should emerge, we worked together, and that's how it should be. And the bills were passed, and they were made better because of working together.
Good bipartisan deeds like these can lead to other, good bipartisan deeds. Let's use this as a model to get things done and pass more jobs legislation to help Americans get back to work right away.