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Steve W.
Republican AR 3

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  • Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act

    by Representative Steve Womack

    Posted on 2015-01-07

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    WOMACK. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Fitzpatrick) for bringing this collection of bills to the House floor.

    I would also like to express my gratitude to Representatives Himes, Delaney, and Wagner for working with me on one of the underlying bills, the bipartisan H.R. 801, in the last Congress.

    Mr. Speaker, in this new Congress, adding jobs to our economy is a top priority. And passing the Promoting Job Creation and Reducing Small Business Burdens Act is an opportunity for us to create a better environment for private sector growth and job creation.

    [[Page H81]] {time} 1345 Title III, also known as H.R. 801, is no exception, and I am proud to rise in support of its passage.

    A year ago this month, I came to this floor to speak on the underlying bill which passed overwhelmingly in this Chamber 417-4. While it is unfortunate the bill was never considered by the Senate, it is clear today that in the 114th Congress, its prospects are better.

    Small financial institutions are essential to the communities they serve. They have a deep and abiding love for the towns they serve because these towns are their towns, and our constituents--small business owners, farmers, hardworking Americans--rely on these institutions to meet payroll, to purchase equipment, or to buy a car or home.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, these financial institutions have come under fire from Washington because of its regulatory overreach, forcing them to spend increasing shares of their resources to comply with onerous regulations--requirements intended for larger banks--instead of having the flexibility they need to serve their communities.

    Let's be clear: small community banks and savings and loan holding companies were not the cause of the financial crisis, and I don't believe they should be treated as though they were the cause. I am not alone. In the 112th 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 holding companies from 500 to 2,000 shareholders and increased the deregistration threshold from 300 to 1,200 shareholders, better positioning these banks to increase small business lending and, in turn, promote economic growth in our communities; but due to an oversight in the JOBS Act, it did not explicitly extend these new thresholds to savings and loan holding companies as well.

    As a cosponsor of the JOBS Act, I can say with absolute certainty that wasn't our intent, and I subsequently supported report language in the approps bill of Financial Services to clarify and ensure that savings and loan holding companies should be treated in the same manner as bank and bank holding companies. Additionally, Representative Himes and I have written to the FCC and asked that they use their authority to carry out our original intent.

    In spite of these actions and the House passage of H.R. 801 last Congress, we are still without successful resolution to the problem. Today's vote can change that, Mr. Speaker, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill and the overall legislation.

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