Press Releases

Chairman Hensarling Urges Senate Action on JOBS Act 3.0


Washington, November 29, 2018 -

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following speech on the House Floor today, urging the Senate to pass the “JOBS & Investor Confidence Act of 2018,” otherwise known as the JOBS Act 3.0:

I come here today, Mr. Speaker, and I picked up a copy of this morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal. Many Americans would consider it to be the most influential newspaper in America; but certainly at least on economic matters, I think, most would agree.

I just happened to read the lead editorial today, Mr. Speaker, and it says that the House, this body, “has done yeoman's work shepherding bipartisan bills to expand access to capital.” Most influential paper in America. There's a lot in between but let me go to the last sentence where it says, “The Senate shouldn't scuttle what could be one of this congress's better achievements.” That's in today's Wall Street Journal, Mr. Speaker, and the Journal's talking about JOBS 3.0. It's a bill that came out of this body 406-4, and its purpose, Mr. Speaker, is to promote small business, to promote entrepreneurial capitalism, to promote venture capital. Again, Mr. Speaker, it came out of this body 406-4. We couldn't get 406-4 votes on a Mother's Day resolution. And yet it languishes on that side of the Capitol.

So I've been in this body for 16 years, Mr. Speaker, and I've learned a few things. One of the things I've learned is never underestimate the Senate's capacity to do nothing. And unfortunately, so far, the United States Senate has done nothing on a bill that passed 406-4.

Mr. Speaker, thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump, thanks to the leadership of Speaker Paul Ryan, thanks to the leadership of Chairman Kevin Brady, we have what for most Americans – not all, but for most Americans – is the greatest economy they have had in their entire lifetime. Unemployment at a 50-year low. Cutting across all socioeconomic groups. Small business optimism, consumer optimism, off the charts. We are seeing more people come back into the labor force, and this is all great news.

But we cannot be blinded by the fact that as good as the economy is of today, we still have to concentrate on the economy of tomorrow. And we need to know, can we ensure that the seed capital is there? Can we make sure that our public policy nourishes the drivers of tomorrow's economy, the next Amazons, the next Googles, the next Ubers; where are they going to come from?

So unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, what we have seen is that as recently as 2016, as recently as 2016, startups in America have been cut in half. And oh, incidentally the securities regulatory burden has increased by over 50% in the last 10 years, and by over 80%. It now costs, Mr. Speaker, twice as much to go public today as it did 10 years ago.

And what do we see? We see half the number of companies going public. They don't seem to have that problem in China, Mr. Speaker, because China has over 1/3 of the world's I.P.O.'s or initial public offerings.

Yet the United States, our I.P.O.'s have been cut in half. That's why it's so important that every Congress, every Congress we go back and we ensure that our securities laws are written in such a way that we make sure that entrepreneurial capitalism can't just survive in America, but absolutely thrive. So I come to this floor again to ask that our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol, and I have many friends in that body, but I am often confused why, why they cannot act on something that has received incredible, incredible support in the House.

Mr. Speaker, November is National Entrepreneurship Month. There's only two days left in the month. So I hope that my voice can be heard on the other side of the Capitol, and I would ask the United States Senate to immediately take up the JOBS 3.0 Act, and make sure that the economy of tomorrow for our children and grandchildren is as healthy and thriving as the economy of today.

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