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Waters Statement on Bipartisan Legislation to Help Small Businesses and Protect Investors

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Washington, DC, July 17, 2018 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following floor statement in support of S.488, the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018, a bipartisan bill that facilitates access to capital for small businesses, increases protections for consumers and investors, fights the scourge of drug and human trafficking, and promotes financial stability.

As Prepared for Delivery

Mr. Speaker, this bill is an example of true bipartisanship. I want to thank Chairman Hensarling, the Members of the Financial Services Committee and the staff on both sides of the aisle for their work on this legislative package.

S.488, the JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018, is evidence that Democrats and Republicans can come together to strengthen our nation’s small businesses and entrepreneurs, bolster investor confidence, protect consumers, promote financial stability, and counter human and drug trafficking.

S. 488 helps small businesses grow by encouraging capital formation, and requires the Securities and Exchange Commission to consider unique issues facing rural small businesses and small investment advisers. When entrepreneurs are looking to retire, S. 488 allows them to easily sell their businesses. The bill also requires several rulemakings and studies to encourage small businesses to go public, including by protecting them from excessive underwriting fees.

Main street investors and consumers also benefit from S. 488. One provision, which I authored, cracks down on corporate insiders engaged in illegal insider trading. Democrats also led provisions to enhance disclosures about outsized insider voting power. The bill also creates a taskforce at the SEC to protect seniors and their financial best interests. Additionally, the bill helps non-profits like Habitat for Humanity continue to extend affordable mortgages to low-income families aspiring to the dream of homeownership. Thanks to Mr. Ellison, the legislation enables millions of Americans with thin credit files to improve and build their credit by allowing alternative types of data—like the on-time payment of rent and utilities—to be included in their credit reports without preempting state law.

S. 488 also improves financial stability. The bill directs regulators to improve the calculation for bank capital held to offset risks in the options and derivatives markets so that riskier products are covered by more capital.
Finally, S. 488 strengthens our government’s efforts to stop drug and human trafficking by preventing criminals who engage in these unconscionable acts from accessing the financial system.

There are several provisions that we did not reach bipartisan agreement on in time, including reforms to private offerings under Regulation D that require issuers to file disclosures before their first sale and after the termination of the offering. I am pleased that the Chairman has offered to continue working on this and other issues with me, and I hope that the Senate has its own chance to make these and other changes.

Throughout my work on this legislation, I insisted that nothing could be included that would weaken Dodd-Frank’s financial reforms, harm consumers, or provide giveaways to Wall Street. Instead, building on the bipartisan work of the Financial Services Committee, S. 488 includes measures that will help small businesses grow and protect hardworking Americans that entrust their savings to the capital markets.

Thank you again to my colleagues for their strong bipartisan support on this legislation.

I reserve the balance of my time.

The bill passed by a vote of 406-4.

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