Dems bring last-minute fight to stop GOP 'jobs' bill in the Senate

The opposition was led by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who argued the bill could reverse many of the hard-won reforms represented in the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform legislation and other reforms made in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.  

Landrieu also said she feared that her Democratic colleagues who support the bill, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), were being duped by the bill's moniker. 

"So this little innocuous bill flies over from the House with a fancy name talking about jobs, and because we are all desperate, really, to create more jobs we look at the title of the bill, it says ‘jobs’ and we just can't wait to vote for it,” she said. 

"Please allow us more time to make some serious changes," she continued. 

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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.

Landrieu and some other Democrats support an amendment that will also see a vote on Tuesday to "fix and replace" the GOP bill. That amendment, offered by Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), 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 be 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.