House approves bipartisan SEC bills; GOP, Dems still bicker

Just before the vote, the House accepted amendments that would index to inflation the amounts that can be raised without registration, and the maximum amount people can donate.

And by a 413-11 vote, the House approved H.R. 2940, which would let companies use advertising to solicit investors, easing a current SEC restriction on this practice.

Just before the final vote on this bill, the House rejected the only amendment made in order. That amendment, from Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), would have required information on bonus compensation and “golden parachute” arrangements in advertising materials. However, it was killed in a 190-234 vote.

The bipartisan support for both bills was evident not only in the vote totals, but in much of Thursday’s debate. During debate on H.R. 2930, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) noted that the Obama administration supports the bill, as it incorporates an element of Obama’s jobs plan.

“I feel like I ought to wake up and find out that that was a dream, but in reality it’s actually what’s happening here today,” Bachus said of the broad support for the bill.

But even as they agreed on the substance, the two parties still found time for fighting. Democrats unsuccessfully made motions to recommit both bills back to committee for further work, which seemed to draw anger and surprise from Republicans who said they worked in a bipartisan way on both measures.

“It never ceases to amaze me,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) made the second motion to recommit. “Had the gentleman listened to the debate on the floor, you would have heard from your side of the aisle support of this bill.

“Maybe you are not used to a regular order and an open order, because your side of the aisle did not play that way in the majority,” McCarthy added to groans from Democrats. McCarthy also criticized the substance of DeFazio’s motion.

“You did not take the time to read the bill, understand the bill, and you brought a motion that does not deal with the bill,” he said.

House passage sends the two bills to the Senate, but it is not yet clear whether or when the Senate might consider them.

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