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Ann W.
Republican MO 2

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  • Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act of 2013

    by Representative Ann Wagner

    Posted on 2014-01-14

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    Read More about Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act of 2013

    WAGNER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the sponsor of this legislation, Mr. Womack of Arkansas, as well as my Democrat colleagues, Mr. Himes of Connecticut and Mr. Delaney of Maryland, for their work on this important issue. I also want to thank the chairman of the subcommittee for his very hard work in getting this bill to the floor today.

    Mr. Speaker, the JOBS Act was a big win for the American economy. Since the law was passed a year and a half ago, a number of American businesses, including more than 40 biotechnology companies, as well as companies such as Kayak and Twitter, have gone public using provisions of the JOBS Act.

    Additionally, dozens of community banks across the country have already taken advantage of the updated SEC registration thresholds which made up title VI of the JOBS Act.

    Perhaps most encouraging is the frenzy of activity we have been seeing from entrepreneurs around the country, whether it is small technology startups lining up at the gate to begin crowdfunding or small businesses being able to share their story with more investors, now that they are allowed to advertise. We certainly see this kind of activity in the greater St. Louis region, which has become a major hub of innovation.

    {time} 1315 This is exactly what the JOBS Act was intended to do: allow entrepreneurs and small businesses to focus on innovating and creating jobs, not only complying with outdated government regulations.

    Unfortunately, as we all know, Washington tends to move a little slower than the private sector, which is why this legislation is necessary. Title VI of the JOBS Act updates outdated SEC registration thresholds for community banks, and it will allow banks to focus more time on serving their customers than on complying with unnecessary red tape. And while Congress intended to include savings and loans as a part of these new registration thresholds, the SEC, to date, has not interpreted the law in this way.

    Savings and loans perform essentially the same function as banks. They are overseen by the same regulators and are a pillar of many small towns and communities across this country.

    Missouri is home to about 20 savings and loans that could one day benefit from the provisions in title VI. Many of them have under $200 million in assets and are located in rural areas that rely on their savings and loans for credit. Increasing the ability of these institutions to lend will help increase economic activity in Missouri and all around our great country.

    In order to put savings and loans on equal footing with community banks and to codify congressional intent, today we are considering H.R. 801, which will extend the updated threshold in the JOBS Act to savings and loans. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this legislation, because Congress must continue to take steps, no matter how incremental, to increase lending and investment in our economy.

    As an added bonus, this legislation comes to the floor today with strong bipartisan support, and I want to again thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work and their support on this issue, Mr. Speaker.

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