House Finance Services Committee Approves Six Bills to Help Small Business

The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) approved six bills today, each designed to improve the environment for small business. All of these bills had previously passed the Committee in a prior iteration. Several had been approved by the full House.

HFCS Chairman Jeb Hensarling commented on the legislation;

“Top-down, Washington-driven policies have stacked the deck against small businesses.  Excessive and outdated regulations give the biggest companies a competitive advantage, but undermine entrepreneurs, small business owners and the investors that would back them with capital.  The system is indeed rigged, and Washington has rigged it. These bills will help level the playing field so more Americans who have a good idea, determination and a dream of financial independence get the opportunity to succeed.”

A list of the bills passed today are as follows:

H.R. 910, the “Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017”

  • Sponsors: Reps. French Hill (R-AK) and Bill Foster (D-IL)

H.R. 910 directs the SEC to provide a safe harbor for research reports that cover Exchange Traded Funds. The House passed similar legislation on April 28, 2016 by a vote of 411-6. H.R. 910 passed the Committee today by a vote of 56-2.

H.R. 1219, the “Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2017”

  • Sponsors: Reps. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)

H.R. 1219 modernizes the limit on the number of individuals who can invest in certain venture capital funds before those funds must register with the SEC as “investment companies” under the Investment Company Act of 1940. The House passed similar legislation on July 5, 2016 by a vote of 388-9. H.R. 1219 passed the Committee today by a vote of 54-2.

H.R. 1257, the “Securities and Exchange Commission Overpayment Credit Act”

  • Sponsors: Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL)

H.R. 1257 allows national securities exchanges registered with the SEC to offset previous overpayments the SEC against future fees, under a 10-year statute of limitations. The bill applies only to those overpayments made prior to the legislation’s date of enactment. The Financial Services Committee unanimously approved similar legislation on May 20, 2015 by a vote of 57-0. H.R. 1257 passed the Committee today by a vote of 59-0.

H.R, 1366, the “US Territories Investor Protection Act of 2017”

  • Sponsor: Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Sean Duffy (R-WI)

This bill ensures that investment companies in Puerto Rico, Guam, and elsewhere will operate subject to the same rules as their mainland counterparts, consistent with the SEC’s ability to gather information quickly using modern technology regardless of distance from Washington, D.C. or one of the SEC’s regional offices. Similar legislation passed the House by voice vote on July 11, 2016. H.R. 1366 passed the Committee today by a vote of 58-0.

H.R. 1343, the “Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2017”

  • Sponsor: Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and John Delaney (D-MD)

H.R. 1343 modernizes a regulatory threshold for shares offered as part of employee compensatory benefit plans, better allowing the employees of privately-held businesses to take full advantage of the JOBS Act’s shareholder provisions. Similar legislation passed the House as part of a package of capital formation bills by a recorded vote of 265-159 on February 3, 2016. H.R. 1343 passed the Committee today by a vote of 48-11.

H.R. 1312, the “Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act”

  • Sponsors: Reps. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) and Juan Vargas (D-CA)

H.R. 1312 requires the SEC to respond to any findings and recommendations put forth by the SEC’s Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation. Similar legislation passed the House on February 1, 2016 by a vote of 390-1. H.R. 1312 passed the Committee today by a vote of 58-0. These bills were also considered by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs today, and all passed unanimously.

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