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Public Statements

Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to the Motion to Concur with the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, JOBS, Act.

Many of us agree with the general principle that we should modernize the financial system to help small businesses raise capital, attract investors, and contribute to our economic recovery. However, this must be done in a balanced way that also protects those investors and the public interest. I had hoped that the Senate would have an opportunity to bolster the bill with key consumer- and investor-rights provisions--provisions that had no chance of passage in this House. While the Senate certainly strengthened the proposal, the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3606 does not go far enough to ensure that investors will be protected from unscrupulous actors.

Since the bill was introduced, numerous experts and organizations, including the current and former chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Americans for Financial Reform, AARP, and the Consumer Federation of America, have raised significant concerns about this legislation. According to the New York Times, many fear the bill will allow companies to raise money without having to follow rules on disclosure, accounting, auditing and other regulatory mainstays. The deregulation measures in this bill could actually raise the cost of capital by harming investors and impairing markets, making it harder for legitimate companies to thrive. In addition, the bill will allow certain companies to ignore, for the first five years that they are public, certain regulations, such as the requirement to hire an independent outside auditor to attest to a company's internal financial controls. Also, recent experience clearly shows that arguments that the market will have sufficient incentive to police itself have led to disaster in the recent past and cannot be relied upon in the future. We should have all learned a lesson when it comes to hasty deregulation of financial markets. Even if there is a short term gain to be had, the long term consequences can be quite costly.

In light of the fact that the Senate has not been able to add adequate consumer and investor protections, and the growing information about the potential long-term harm of these provisions, I must vote ``No.''

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