Kennedy joins banking Republicans in rolling out capital formation legislation to mark 10th anniversary of JOBS Act
Apr 04 2022
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today joined Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee in unveiling a draft package of bills that would accelerate America’s economic growth. The draft’s working title is the JOBS Act 4.0.
“The American economy is the greatest in all of human history because of free markets, and the JOBS Act 4.0 will make it even stronger by promoting a healthy market for investors and companies alike. This package will help companies to trade more easily, improve their access to private capital and make meaningful reforms to the SEC,” said Kennedy.
“The JOBS Act helped to revitalize interest in the public markets and spur economic growth, but it is clear significant work remains to be done to give retail investors access to higher returns and ensure American markets remain the deepest and most liquid in the world. The discussion draft we’re releasing today incorporates ideas from entrepreneurs, retail investors, and others, and includes numerous provisions with strong bipartisan support. I look forward to continue working with both Republican and Democrat colleagues on a final product that accelerates economic growth and spurs new job creation across the U.S,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), ranking member of the Banking Committee.
The discussion draft of the JOBS Act 4.0 takes into account stakeholder feedback and represents the collective efforts of Senate Republicans to introduce 24 bills, four of which currently have bipartisan support. Kennedy authored six of those 24 bills.
The JOBS Act 4.0 would:
- Encourage companies to be publicly-traded: includes eight initiatives to encourage companies to become publicly-traded, particularly during earlier growth stages, when investors have the chance to earn the highest returns.
- Improve the market for private capital: includes six initiatives to reduce costs associated with seeking capital by appropriately tailoring regulations for small businesses.
- Enhance retail investor access to investment opportunities: includes seven initiatives to prevent retail investors from being excluded from certain investment opportunities.
- Improve regulatory oversight: includes seven initiatives to enhance investor protection and privacy and to update outdated statutory and regulatory provisions.
Kennedy has introduced six bills in this package, including:
- The Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act would examine problems that small businesses in rural areas face when they attempt to access capital. The bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation to submit an annual report on the unique challenges small businesses in rural areas face when trying to secure capital.
- The Main Street Growth Act would expand small companies’ access to capital markets through dedicated exchanges known as “venture exchanges” for trading stocks. The bill would give investors more access to the potential growth opportunities that small companies offer.
- The Tracking Bad Actors Act of 2022 would protect the public from financial crime and abuse by creating a public database of people who have committed financial crimes or have civil liability for financial misdeeds.
- The Protecting Investors’ Personally Identifiable Information Act would protect information that could reveal the identity of American investors by prohibiting the SEC from requiring brokers to submit investors’ personally identifiable information to its Consolidated Audit Trail.
- The Intelligent Tick Study Act would require the SEC to look at the economic impact that trading increments—called ticks—of over and under one penny has on the stock market. The bill would help small companies be traded more efficiently by allowing the SEC, through rulemaking, to determine appropriate tick sizes for small companies that are publicly traded.
- The Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2021 would help small business owners access the services of small business merger and acquisition (M&A) brokers. The bill would allow small business M&A brokers to organize sales and purchases of ownership and control of private companies without registering as “broker-dealers” with the SEC and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. This would remove bureaucratic roadblocks, making their services more affordable and accessible to small business owners who need help buying or selling companies.
The discussion draft of this legislation is available here.
A fact sheet on the JOBS Act 4.0 is available here.
A section-by-section summary of the package is available here.