The House of Representatives today passed two bipartisan Financial Services Committee bills, including one that sets a deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to implement a key provision of the JOBS Act.
By a vote of 416-6, the House gave its approval to H.R. 701, a bipartisan bill that directs the SEC to finalize rules by Oct. 31 to implement a JOBS Act provision that helps startup businesses access capital.
"Hardworking Americans demand and deserve a healthy economy. Yet today we remain stuck in the slowest and weakest economy of modern times. That's why we must take every opportunity to help small businesses grow and create jobs. The sooner the JOBS Act is fully implemented, the sooner more entrepreneurs and startup companies will be able to access the capital they need to help jumpstart the economy," said Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), who serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sponsored the legislation along with Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), David Scott (D-GA), David Schweikert (R-AZ) and Scott Garrett (R-NJ).
"To cultivate a stronger economy, we have to build a more vibrant marketplace for our startups and entrepreneurs, which is what this legislation is all about.It's critical that the SEC finally start to implement the JOBS Act -- a bipartisan bill that was signed into law more than a year ago.Small businesses and entrepreneurs are starving for capital, and this legislation simply sets a firm deadline for the SEC to get its job done." said Rep. McHenry.
Specifically, H.R. 701 requires the SEC to implement Title IV of the JOBS Act by October 31, 2013. Title IV requires the SEC to adopt or amend regulations to encourage capital formation without requiring an SEC registration statement. These exemptions, referred to as "Regulation A+," create a new category of public offerings exempt from SEC registration of up to $50 million raised over a 12-month period through issuance of equity securities, debt securities or debt securities convertible or exchangeable to equity interests, including any guarantees of such securities. Under current law, Regulation A provides a similar exemption for public offerings up to $5 million over 12 months.
To protect investors, the JOBS Act requires companies that make offerings under Regulation A+ to file audited financial statements with the SEC on an annual basis and gives the SEC the ability to require these issuers to make periodic disclosures about their operations, financial condition, use of proceeds and other information it deems appropriate.
The House also passed H.R. 384, the Homes for Heroes Act, sponsored by Financial Services Committee member Rep. Al Green (D-TX).
The legislation, approved by the House 420-3, helps to ensure veterans have access to housing and homeless assistance programs and assists in coordinating all of the Department of Housing and Urban Development programs related to helping veterans. H.R. 384 also directs the secretaries of HUD and the Department of Veterans Affairs to report annually to Congress on veteran homelessness and housing assistance.