By an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 312-111, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler's bill to help small and rural businesses obtain loans and create jobs. H.R. 3336, the Small Business Credit Availability Act, revises the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act to provide smaller banks with relief from Dodd-Frank's regulations governing the banks' ability to provide low-rate fixed loans to small businesses. It also applies to credit unions, Farm Credit banks, the Rural Electric Cooperative infrastructure lender, and finance companies that offer credit to their customers.
"This revision of Dodd-Frank is essential to farmers, manufacturers, and small and rural businesses wanting to expand and create new jobs," said Hartzler. "Many of these businesses are often overlooked by large national banks and might not have access to competitive loans. Although Dodd-Frank was supposed to reduce the power of big banks, it has actually had the exact opposite effect. My bill helps to reverse this trend and keep lending decisions closer to home."
"The current law stifles the Heartland," continued Hartzler. "Small businesses in rural America should be able to access credit in local communities without the need to turn to national banks that are not familiar with the needs and concerns of this part of the country."
"Dodd-Frank had many unintended consequences, including burdening small lenders with red tape and new costs," added Hartzler. "My bill exempts these small lenders from many of the provisions of Dodd-Frank that could put them out of business."
Having cleared the House, Hartzler's bill now moves to the Senate.
Congresswoman Hartzler and her husband are small business owners who live on a working farm in Cass County. She serves on the House Agriculture Committee.