Accelerating Access to Capital Act of 2016

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 8, 2016
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARRETT. I thank the chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of H.R. 2357, the Accelerating Access to Capital Act of 2015.

I also want to thank Mrs. Wagner, Mr. Emmer, and all of my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee who have continued to support legislation that will allow our economy to grow and to expand opportunities for all Americans across this country.

Mr. Chairman, as I spend time with my constituents in the Fifth District, the message I hear from them is largely the same one I have been hearing for the last 8 years. People are concerned about jobs. They are concerned about their economic security and retirements. Perhaps, most importantly, they are concerned about whether their kids--their children--are going to have the same kinds of opportunities that they have enjoyed.

You see, there is no more ambiguity remaining about the economic legacy of the Obama administration. Last month's news that the economy grew at an abysmal 1.1 percent during the second quarter merely confirms what we already knew: we are mired in the weakest economic recovery since World War II. Some economists now think we are heading into another recession. It appears that all of the promises that came with the passage of Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, the $800 billion stimulus package, and the thousands of regulations in the last 8 years were just that: promises.

Fortunately, for the last 5 years, the Financial Services Committee has been an oasis in a desert of bad ideas. Our committee has been at the forefront of putting forth job-creating, bipartisan legislation-- most notably, the JOBS Act of 2012, as well as a number of other important measures that were signed into law in 2015.

Here we have H.R. 2357. It is a compilation of bills, if you will, that have passed our committee and would help empower entrepreneurs and small businesses, not bureaucrats and Washington insiders.

First, we have Mrs. Wagner's bill, which would expand the number of companies that could take advantage of the short form registration. Allowing more companies to use the form would significantly reduce paperwork and man-hours. As she has indicated, last year, it would have saved 70,000 man-hours and over $84 million in compliance costs. Allowing expanded use has been a frequent recommendation of something called the SEC's Government-Businesses Forum on Small Business Capital Formation; but it is not surprising that the SEC has ignored those ideas year, after year, after year.

H.R. 2357 also includes Mr. Emmer's ideas, under the Securities Act of 1933, to allow the so-called micro offerings. What this means in layman's terms is that a business would be allowed to stand up before a local Chamber of Commerce or Kiwanis Club and solicit an investment without running afoul of all of the securities laws. This really is an innovative idea, and it requires Congress to step in and facilitate it.

Finally, you have mine. You have the Private Placement Improvement Act, which I authored. This is part of the package, and it would prohibit the SEC from implementing onerous, new regulations or requirements on companies that raise capital--how?--through private channels that they proposed back in 2013. As several experts have testified before our committee, the mere existence of these amendments by the SEC is preventing more job creation.

Taken together, finally, Mr. Chairman, all of these bills continue the good work of the Financial Services Committee, under our chairman, Jeb Hensarling, over the last 5 years, to bring our capital markets into the 21st century and create opportunities for American businesses and their families.