The House may not have been able to pass a transportation bill yesterday to enable the smooth functioning of two million construction jobs, but they did find the time to kill a bunch of investor protections and deregulate the securities markets:
The House on Tuesday afternoon approved the final, Senate-passed version of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, sending the non-controversial bill aimed at helping small companies raise capital to the White House for President Obama’s signature.
The bill, H.R. 3606, was approved last week with a single Senate amendment that requires stricter reporting requirements for companies that obtain capital from “crowdfunding,” the practice of using the Internet to get many small investments.
The highlight is mine. Only an establishment paper like The Hill could claim that a bill like the JOBS Act, which every leading advocate for financial regulation has called craven and stupid, is “non-controversial.” The bill, soon to become law, eliminates anti-fraud measures that have been in place for, in some cases, decades. And the compelling reason to perform such deregulation is absent; the only jobs this will create are from the team of designers of misleading acronyms hired to designate it “the JOBS Act.” Nonetheless, The Hill is right in one aspect: a pro-fraud bill like this is non-controversial on Capitol Hill. It passed 380-41. Bipartisanship, baby!
One House Republican, David Schweikert, wanted to revisit the bill to eliminate the one investor protection, on crowdfunding, that the Senate manage to add to it. His goal is for “a much more egalitarian, technologically advanced, using-the-Internet way for people to invest.” Because if there’s one axiom in America, it’s that nobody has ever gotten ripped off over the Internet.
The President will sign the bill, because the White House initially proposed it.
It’s good to know that, in this age of severe partisanship and rancor, the two parties can come together and make sure Wall Street financiers and scam artists can more easily rip off the American people. There is hope, after all.