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JOBS Act Clears Procedural Hurdle, Presses Onwards in U.S. Senate

JOBS Act Clears Procedural Hurdle, Presses Onwards in U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate today voted 76-22 to limit debate on the JOBS Act, clearing a procedural hurdle standing in-between the bill and its passage — which, without further delays, may arrive as soon as tonight.

The House passed the JOBS Act on March 8 in a 390-23 vote. Our sources close to Capitol Hill expect the bill to survive the Senate, too. The Obama administration already endorsed the legislation, so the President is highly unlikely to veto the JOBS Act should it pass.

Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), discussing his crowdfunding amendment to H.R. 3606, criticized Congressman McHenry’s framework for lacking sufficient safeguards. Brown argued it is irresponsible to allow anyone — as compared to those with an established, incorporated business — to issue stock from their living room.

Senate Democrats proposed two of their own amendments to bolster protections for investors. “I want everyone to know, the bill is imperfect and perhaps that is an understatement,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

The JOBS Act would legalize equity-based crowdfunding in the U.S., allowing startups to more easily raise capital and democratizing the often-intimidating financial sector among investors. In its current form, it would allow non-accredited investors to invest up to $10,000, or 10% of their annual income (whichever is less), in return for stake in a startup. It would also raise the cap on private shareholders from 500 to 2,000.

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