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Steve W.
Republican AR 3

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  • Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act of 2013

    by Representative Steve Womack

    Posted on 2014-01-14

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    WOMACK. Madam Speaker, my thanks to the subcommittee chairman and to Chairman Hensarling for shepherding this bill through committee and bringing it to the House floor. I, too, would like to express my gratitude to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, particularly Representative Himes, with whom I worked in the previous Congress on similar legislation that has already been articulated, and Representative Delaney and Mrs. Wagner for working with me on this bipartisan measure.

    As you know, Madam Speaker, we have been talking about jobs. The House has passed bill after bill to create a better environment for private sector growth and job creation. These conservative solutions would help create new jobs today, would make life for families better across the country, and would expand opportunity for everyone without expanding government. That is [[Page H197]] exactly what this bill, H.R. 801, does as well, and I am proud to rise and urge support for its passage.

    Small financial institutions are essential to the communities they serve. Their boards are made up of community leaders. Their employees are our neighbors. They sponsor Little League teams and softball leagues and support the United Way. On Friday nights, you see their logos on the scoreboards at high school football games.

    These institutions have a deep and abiding love for the towns that they serve, and our constituents--small business owners, farmers, and hardworking Americans--rely on them to meet payroll, to purchase equipment, or to buy a car or a home.

    Unfortunately, these institutions are coming under increased pressure from Washington, forcing them to spend more and more of their resources not to put capital into the community but to comply with onerous new regulations and requirements--requirements intended for larger banks-- instead of serving the needs of their communities. Our small community banks and savings and loan holding companies were not the cause of the financial crisis, and they should not be treated as though they were.

    That is why in the last Congress the House and Senate acted to eliminate some of these unnecessary burdens by passing the JOBS Act. Among other things, the bill raised the registration threshold for bank holdings companies from 500 to 2,000 shareholders and increased the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200 shareholders, better positioning banks to increase their business lending and, in turn, promote economic growth in our communities.

    Due to an oversight, the JOBS Act did not explicitly extend these new thresholds to savings and loan holding companies. As a sponsor of the original legislation, this wasn't our intent, and I supported report language in the House FY 2013 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill clarifying that savings and loan holding companies should be treated in the same manner as bank and bank holding companies. Additionally, Representative Himes and I wrote to SEC Chairman Schapiro to ask that the SEC use its authority to carry out our original intent.

    Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, we are still without a successful resolution to the problem. At a time when our economy is struggling, Congress must address the issue and ease the burdens on these institutions to allow them to deploy more of their capital throughout the communities they serve. H.R. 801 does this by correcting this oversight and ensuring that savings and loan holding companies are treated in the same manner as bank and bank holding companies.

    I urge my colleagues to support this job-creating legislation.

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