Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Actby Representative Stephen F. Lynch
Posted on 2015-01-07
LYNCH. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to just amplify some of the concerns raised by the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Kildee) in his remarks about the fact that here we are, just the second day of this Congress, and we have a group of 11 bills that have been rolled up. There are many new provisions here that have never seen a hearing, unfortunately. This is not the open process that we had hoped for and had spoken about just yesterday.
We have had very limited opportunity to review some of these new sections. Again, they have not had a hearing. They have not gone through regular order.
H.R. 37 contains 11 separate bills, some of which I support, but some of which I oppose strongly. Portions of H.R. 37 have entirely new provisions that most Members have not had the opportunity to thoroughly analyze.
[[Page H80]] For example, title XI of this bill modifies SEC rule 701 on stock- sharing. It allows private companies to compensate their employees up to $10 million in company stock without having to provide the employees with certain basic financial disclosures about the company. I voted against a similar bill, H.R. 4571, in the last Congress when it was marked up.
But I also want to point out, that while I strongly support employees receiving equity benefits from the firms in which they work, those benefits should be tangible and real. We all remember Enron and WorldCom, where the company, as compensation to those employees, actually pressured them into buying company stock and did not provide full information to them. And eventually, those shares were worthless. So you had thousands of workers being partly compensated in company stock, and the stock was worth zero.
Now we are going to expand this opportunity from $5 million to $10 million a year that each company will be able to pay their employees with company stock, and they don't have any obligation because part of this bill does not require them to make any type of a disclosure, Mr. Speaker. And there is no opportunity for those employees to get accurate financial information about whether the stock that they are being paid with is worth anything. It is just a bad road to go down.
In closing, this bill uses the veneer of job creation to provide special treatment for the well-connected corporations, mergers and acquisition advisers, and financial institutions while doing very little to address the needs of those workers.
With that, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the bill.