Republican Sens. Pat Toomey (Pa.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Tex.), John Thune (S.D.) and Scott Brown (Mass.) want to know: Why has the Senate taken no action on four bills to create jobs when those bills passed the House of Representatives by broad bipartisan majorities?
Let’s take them one at a time:
- The Small Company Capital Formation bill changes SEC rules to allow companies to sell up to $50 million in shares without filing lengthy paperwork — and its equivalent passed the House by a vote of 421 to 1. Sen. Pat Toomey has introduced the companion measure in the Senate, and his bill enjoys the support of numerous Democratic co-sponsors.
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Shareholder Registration Thresholds bill would increase the number of shareholders permitted to invest in a community bank from 500 to 2,000. Its House version passed the lower chamber by a slightly smaller margin than Sen. Toomey’s bill — or 420 to 2. Democratic senators Claire McCaskill, Ben Nelson and Mark Pryor are co-sponsors.
- The Access to Capital for Job Creators act, sponsored by Sen. John Thune, would eliminate an SEC regulation that inhibits companies from reaching out to potential investors in order to raise capital. More than 400 members of the House voted for its equivalent, too — 175 of them Democrats.
- The House version of Sen. Scott Brown’s Democratizing Access to Capital act drew the support of 169 House Democrats — and 407 members of the House total. It would change SEC regulations that inhibit entrepreneurs from raising capital among large groups of small dollar investors.
With such across-the-board support, what’s the hold-up? If the Senate Majority Leader’s unconcerned attitude about the lack of a budget is any indication, he has no answer — and doesn’t care to provide one. But I’d love to be proved wrong on that.
In the meantime, the lack of action on such commonsense bills raises the question: What is the Senate doing … back there? I never know what the Senate is doing.
It’s a truly do-nothing Senate, and GOPers better not let the voting public forget that.