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Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HENSARLING. I guess the threshold question I have to ask is: How does this amendment help jump-start business start-ups?

What this amendment does is require one more disclosure report. Much of this, frankly, I do not believe to be germane to the underlying bill, but it is here before us. Nonetheless, it is one more regulatory burden. It is one more cost imposed upon our job creators. It is one more piece of red tape when already the Small Business Administration under the Obama administration has reported the total regulatory cost amounts to $1.75 trillion annually, which is enough money for businesses to provide 35 million private sector jobs with an average salary of $50,000. The same report from the Obama administration's Small Business Administration has reported that 64 percent of all new jobs in the past 15 years have come from small business. Yet these small businesses face an annual regulatory cost of $10,585 per employee.

So, again, I begin to wonder. I know every single report, every single study, every single regulation has, perhaps, some beneficial purpose, but the cumulative impact of them all, Madam Chair, is hurting our businesses.

According to a recent Chamber of Commerce small business survey, 78 percent of small businesses surveyed report that taxation, regulation, legislation from Washington is what is making it harder for their firms to hire more individuals. What we understand from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, a division of OMB, is that during the first 3 years of the President's administration, we have seen a 95 percent increase in the average number of completed regulations deemed economically significant to our economy--almost double. The administration has currently proposed 3,118 regulations. Again, at what point do you begin to say enough is enough?

I understand the purpose of the gentleman's amendment, but I think we know that we have lost far too many jobs overseas. It's not a matter of documenting the symptom; it's getting to the disease. What is the root cause? Well, we know what the root cause is. The root cause is too much red tape. It's bills like the President's health care plan, which is an anathema to small businesses across the land--2,000 pages of legislation that have promulgated even more regulations. Talk to any small business person in America, and the person will cite the President's health care program as something that is inhibiting job growth.

This regulatory burden almost doubles economically significant regulations imposed. That's what's chasing jobs overseas--taxation. The President is proposing $1.9 trillion more in taxes, much of it to fall upon small businesses; and we wonder why we're losing jobs overseas? That's what needs to be documented--not the fact that it's happening, but the root causes. That would be more worthy of a study.

At this point, the purpose of this bill is to help bring more companies on to this IPO on-ramp. This is at cross-purposes, and I would urge my colleagues to defeat this.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Chair, this, again, the underlying piece of legislation is a piece of legislation that is designed to ensure that small businesses have an on-ramp to equity financing into the IPO market. Let's recall again, why are we seeing so few IPOs? Why are we continuing in this 8 percent-plus unemployment environment for over 3 years, the longest period of sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression?

Well, I listen closely to businesspeople in the Fifth Congressional District of Texas. I listen to other job creators around America, and here's what I hear.

John Mackey, cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods Market:

In some cases regulations have gone too far, and it really makes it difficult for small businesses. There's too much bureaucracy and red tape. Taxes on business are very high. So we're not creating the enabling conditions that allow businesses to get started.

We're trying to cut away red tape with this JOBS Act.

Andrew Puzder, CEO, CKE Restaurants:

Government just doesn't understand how much uncertainty it creates in the economy when it attempts to regulate what the private sector does, and it really doesn't understand what the private sector does.

Bernie Marcus, cofounder, former CEO of Home Depot:

Having built a small business into a big one, I can tell you that today the impediments that the government imposes are almost impossible to deal with. Home Depot would have never succeeded if we tried to start it today.

Let me repeat that, Madam Chair. Home Depot would never have succeeded if we tried to start it today.

Every day you see rules and regulations from a group of Washington bureaucrats who know nothing about running a business, and I mean every day. It's become stifling.

If you're a small businessman, the only way to deal with it is to work harder, put in more hours, and let people go. When you consider that something like 70 percent of the American people work for small businesses, you are talking about a big economic impact.

Just three voices, Madam Chair, from America's job creators. Again, it's not a real secret why we've had a dearth of IPOs.

I understand the gentlelady's amendment is to have the SEC issue a report, number one. I would also note, since these are public filings, we ourselves, as Members of Congress, will have no trouble whatsoever understanding how many companies will go public in the next year.

I understand the gentlelady's argument, I respect that, but, again, it's just one more reporting burden that, frankly, is being placed on the SEC. Now, we've had a debate, and the ranking member has brought up many times he's unhappy with the level of funding that the SEC has received. In fact, I would note, however, that even the President of the United States in his budget is not trying to give the SEC what they have requested.

But what the ranking member has said:

Studies are not done for free by the SEC. I think we have got a further burdening of the SEC with more work. Given the current decision to restrict SEC funding, I will be much more careful about burdening them with studies which will inevitably come at the expense of more important duties.

Again it's a debate. Does the SEC have the right amount of resources, too much, too many? I don't know, that's a legitimate debate.

But, apparently, he thought strongly enough that we should not be burdening the SEC with further burdens at this time. For all of those reasons, I would urge that we defeat the amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Among other reasons I think we should oppose this amendment, number one, I'm not sure what we're going to learn in 1 year. We didn't get into this terrible environment of high unemployment overnight. Frankly, it took 3 years of the burdens that this administration has placed on small businesses. I don't know if we are going to get out of it overnight. So, number one, I don't believe that 1 year is particularly helpful.

But, again, we can have a debate about the root causes. We're already going to know which companies go public. And at some point in time you have to say are the benefits to be derived from the report, from the regulation, worth the cost? I simply don't see it, Madam Chair. Again, I urge defeat of the amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.


Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Chair, I want to thank the gentleman from Iowa for bringing this amendment to the floor. I suspect, given that the SEC already has a fairly comprehensive Web site, they probably would have done the proper job in outreach on small business issues. But as important as the JOBS Act is, his amendment is helpful to the underlying bill. I also want to thank him for working with us to tailor his amendment to the underlying bill. Again, it is my expectation that the SEC would do this job. This will help ensure that all the benefits of this act will be known throughout the small-business community. I urge adoption of the gentleman's amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. HENSARLING. Madam Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time.

Again, I wish to urge adoption of the gentleman's amendment. Madam Chair, I would note that this is the last amendment that we will be debating. So, again, I want to use this opportunity to urge all of my colleagues to support the JOBS Act. We again know that jobs, economic growth, the state of our economy continue to be the most pressing issues we are facing in the Nation today. These are foremost in the minds of our constituents.

I want to thank the Republican leader, the gentleman from Virginia, for his leadership in bringing this effort to the floor. I certainly want to thank the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Mr. Bachus of Alabama, and the prime author of the legislation, the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Fincher), who has been very active in this debate. I also want to thank the Representatives, my colleagues from the other side of the aisle, for working with us again. It is challenging, most challenging, to find areas of consensus, and most challenging to find the ability to move bipartisan legislation. I think this is a day, a moment, that can be celebrated by all Members. It certainly doesn't do what we would totally like done on our side of the aisle, and I'm sure my friends on the other side of the aisle have the same thing to say.

But it is a step in the right direction for allowing more start-ups to access equity capital to create more jobs for a Nation in desperate need of more job growth and more economic growth.

Again, we know the President in his Statement of Administration Policy has indicated a desire to sign this piece of legislation, and I look forward to the President having that opportunity. I hope it is not our last opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis in this Congress and in this year. It is certainly a good start and something I believe the American people will celebrate.

I want to urge adoption of the gentleman's amendment; I want to urge all of my colleagues to support the bill; and let's find ways to grow this economy and get America back to work.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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