JOBS Act trudging through Senate, but slows with scrutinity from Dems

Published: Thursday, March 22 2012 10:33 a.m. MDT

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Reid said the JOBS Act is missing protections for investors.

Jacquelyn Martin, Associated Press

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A key piece of legislation intended to help small businesses is making strides in the Senate, but there may be a bumpy road ahead for the series of bills.

The Senate voted 76-22 on Wednesday to limit debate on the Jumpstarting Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a series of bills intended to make it easier for startups to gain access to funding, according to Politico. But Democrats want to amend the proposed set of bills because they believe the legislation is missing protections for investors against fraud.

“These bills on their own certainly won’t solve the jobs crisis,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Politico. “But they will make it a lot easier for entrepreneurs and innovators to get the capital they need to build businesses and create jobs.”

Senate Democrats want to add two amendments to the bills to boost protection for investors. But House Republicans want their version, which passed 390 to 23 to head to the White House unaltered.

“I want everyone to know, the bill is imperfect and perhaps that is an understatement,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told Politico.

The JOBS Act would open the doors for “crowdfunding,” or a company receiving money from the general population rather than through certified investors.

With the new regulations, anyone can invest up to 10 percent of his or her annual income or $10,000 in return for a stake in the company, according to Forbes. Companies who seek crowdfunding would have to file with the SEC and are limited to $1 million — $2 million if they release audited financial statements — per year through this type of financing.

Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act have drawn support from notable figures like AOL co-founder Steve Case and the Wall Street Journal.

Despite Senate kickback, the JOBS Act has significant bipartisan support.

The act passed with an overwhelming margin in the House and President Obama supports the series of bills, according to NPR.

Some Democrats are criticizing the White House for its support.

One of the most outspoken against the JOBS Act, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told Politico that the White House is making a mistake by backing the House bill without sufficiently scrutinizing it.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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