Creating Financial Prosperity for Businesses and Investors Act

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 5, 2016
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 6427, the Creating Financial Prosperity for Businesses and Investors Act. It is a compilation of legislative initiatives that the Financial Services Committee has worked on in a very constructive and bipartisan manner during the 114th Congress.

For 6 years, our committee, and, in particular, the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, has sought to break through the bipartisan gridlock in Washington and to ensure that the SEC, or the Securities and Exchange Commission, fulfills an important part of its mission to facilitate capital formation.

For example, the JOBS Act of 2012, much of which originated in our committee, has already been a measurable success, as hundreds of companies have used its provisions to file for an initial public offering, and other businesses have been able to raise well over $50 billion worth of capital through private channels.

Altogether, this translates to more growth, more innovation, and, most importantly, more jobs here for Americans who have been struggling in an economy that is producing only 1-2 percent growth, at best.

We didn't stop at the JOBS Act, and both Republicans and Democrats on our committee came together and continued to generate good ideas that modernize our Nation's security laws for the benefit of the small- and medium-sized enterprises, which often pay a disproportionate share of the costs that come along with regulation.

For example, during this Congress, our subcommittee has put forward nearly 40 bills to do just that, the vast majority of which gained, again, bipartisan support in both committee and here on the House floor. A year ago this month, a number of these measures were signed into law at the White House by the President.

Today, we bring together a package of another six bills on the House floor with the hopes that we, once again, can improve the environment in which entrepreneurs and small businesses can operate.

The provisions under H.R. 6427 include the following:

First, a bill from Mr. Carney and Mr. Duffy that would create an Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation at the SEC. For too long, Mr. Speaker, the SEC has operated in a bureaucratic silo and ignored the needs of small and growing businesses and entrepreneurs. So we have Mr. Duffy's bill, which gives small businesses a permanent voice at the SEC, and it passed out of committee unanimously by a vote of 56-0. It also passed in the House overwhelmingly.

Secondly, Mr. Speaker, is a bill from Mr. Poliquin that would require the SEC to respond to recommendations made at its annual government small business forum, ensuring that the SEC no longer simply ignores the ideas generated by small businesses at this event. This bill, again, passed our committee by a vote of 55-1 and passed the House by a vote of 390-1 earlier this year.

It also includes two bills from Mr. McHenry, who is on the floor and will be speaking later, one which would fix some of the more unworkable provisions of the crowd funding title of the JOBS Act, and a second bill that would modernize the threshold for when venture capital funds would have to register with the SEC. Again, there was huge bipartisan support, both passing out of committee 57-2 and garnering near- unanimous support here on the House floor.

There are two more.

Another title includes a bill from Dave Schweikert that would reform the definition of an accredited investor for certain securities offerings so that it is not just the wealthy or the well-connected who are able to invest in these companies. This bill passed the House earlier, again, with near-unanimous support.

Finally, we have a bill from our Democratic colleague, Ms. Velazquez, that would make a technical correction to an outdated law that exempts investment companies from having to register in U.S. territories.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 6427 contains innovation and much- needed legislation to help get our economy off the slow growth track that it has been on for too long, and it continues the good bipartisanship that our committee is known for.

I want to take this moment to thank all my colleagues over the years for their hard work and willingness to work with us in a bipartisan manner to move legislation like this.

In particular, I thank our chairman, Jeb Hensarling, for his tremendous leadership of our full Financial Services Committee and for all the work that he has done to improve our capital markets in this country and to create a financial system that works for the benefit of all Americans.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise again to support the legislation. It dawns on me also that, as I rise today, this may be the last time that I rise on the floor. So let me just say what an honor it has been to stand at this podium to bring forth legislation like this, as I have done over the last 14 years, and to end where I began, to do so in a bipartisan manner, that they tell me we should be able to pass through today in a pretty overwhelmingly bipartisan manner as well.

The gentleman from Arizona ended his remarks with the statement: Every day is a new beginning.

So I look at that as my days ahead. This legislation is a new beginning for capital formation and is a new beginning for bipartisanship in future legislation as well.

I thank my colleagues from the other side of the aisle that I have had the honor and privilege to work with on this legislation and other legislation as well. I thank my colleagues from my side of the aisle that I have had similar opportunity to do so as well. We have gone through challenging times, from good economic times and bad--maybe more bad than good--but, through it all, I think we have done so with the American public's interest in mind.

Behind me also are some of our members of our committee who I also wish to recognize for their work as well. They have left a profound impact on myself during the time that I have known them, and I thank them humbly for their being willing to put up with me and to deal with me throughout the years, but be able to work together for the benefit of the American public as well.

I think that, together, we have done great things. I look forward to watching what other great things will be done in a bipartisan manner as well.

I think my time may be just about out, but let me also just say this as well. I want to end where I began, which was thanking the chairman of this committee, Mr. Jeb Hensarling, for his leadership and, most importantly, for his friendship in the years I have known him in this capacity.

I urge every Member to support the underlying legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.