By Raju Chebium
Bipartisan support for a small-business bill proves Democrats and Republicans can work together on Capitol Hill, the lone Democrat in Alabama's congressional delegation said Friday.
Freshman Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham was among those on hand to watch President Barack Obama sign the JOBS Act, the first time she's been invited to a White House bill-signing ceremony.
Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills, was the only other Alabamian invited to Thursday's event.
Sewell said the lack of bipartisanship in Congress has frustrated her and her constituents, and she urged lawmakers to set aside differences and work together on important issues such as job creation.
"The American people are sick of the partisan games and brinksmanship that you see in Washington," she said. "I know I am."
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act will help small businesses go public sooner and make it easier for start-ups to raise money. Some Democrats worry the law erodes protections Congress adopted after the tech bubble burst and Wall Street excesses came to light in the previous decade.
The final version of the bill passed the House 380-41 on March 27, with all Alabama representatives voting in favor.
Sewell said Alabama's emerging biomedical industry will particularly benefit from the law. Obama called the law a potential "game changer" for small companies poised to invent the next great product and create jobs.
Sewell, who worked as a securities lawyer in New York and a public-finance lawyer in Birmingham before running for the House, called on Congress to pass other proposals advanced by Obama, such as creating an infrastructure "bank" to pay for road, bridge, sewer and other projects.