Senate Dems offer amendment to 'fix' and replace House GOP jobs bill

The amendment offered by Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) will see a vote in the Senate on Tuesday and would entirely replace the legislation, which cleared the House 323-92, with another piece of legislation with similar aims. 

Reed and other Democrats have complained that Republicans' bill would go too far in rolling back for new or smaller corporations regulations that are currently part of the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform laws. 

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"If H.R. 3606 … passed in its current form, it could significantly weaken important investor protections, rollback securities disclosures, and exempt extremely large corporations from long-standing, critical accounting rules and executive compensation disclosures," said a statement released by Reed's office on Thursday afternoon. 

The House-passed bill would create a new class of companies labeled as "emerging growth companies" that would enjoy relaxed rules under the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Among other changes, the bill would also end an SEC ban on small-company advertisements to solicit capital, allow the solicitation of funds over the Internet, known as crowd funding, increase the offering threshold from $5 million to $50 million before SEC registration is required, raise the shareholder registration requirement from 500 to 1,000 shareholders, and increase the number of shareholders allowed to invest in community banks from 500 to 2,000.

The Reed amendment, on the other hand, would also help small businesses and entrepreneurs grow by raising capital but would do so "in a way that protects investors."

For example, one provision would allow smaller companies to raise capital by selling up to $50 million in shares, instead of the current $5 million cap, and replicates the House bill by creating a new category of “Emerging Growth Companies” that would be slowly eased into the regulatory restrictions for a five-year period rather than entirely absolved. 

In addition, the law adds "robust investor protections" to crowd funding and increases the lending authority of the Import Export Bank to $140 billion.  

The Reed amendment will see a cloture vote on Tuesday and is likely to fail to meet the 60-vote threshold required for it to replace the pending House bill.

The Senate adjourned for the week on Thursday at around 4:40 p.m. after passing a bill by unanimous consent that would transition some federal land in Oklahoma to an American Indian tribe and after passing a resolution recognizing the anniversary of the independence of Greece and celebrating Greek and American Democracy. 

The Senate will reconvene on Monday at 2 p.m.