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Today is set to be Mary Schapiro's last day at the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. A handful of lawmakers were hoping that one of her final actions might be to push proposed new rules for equity crowdfunding in the United States out the door with her. But as the end of the day nears, it seems clear that won't be happening.
Earlier this week, a handful of the architects and supporters of the CROWDFUND Act and the JOBS Act that it was later folded into signed a letter to Schapiro urging that the SEC "promulgate proposed regulations on crowdfunding in the most expeditious manner possible."
Shortly after announcing her plans to step down, it was revealed (in a letter from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) that Schapiro had slowed down the process of drafting rules for one key section of the JOBS Act.
The letter, signed Monday by Senators Jeff Merkeley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Scott Brown (R-MA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), as well as Rep. McHenry, acknowledged that it would be difficult for the SEC to meet the 270-day rulemaking deadline outlined in the JOBS Act, but requested that the SEC still attempt it or at least release the proposed rules for comments right away.
We understand the complexity in crafting the new rules. Yet time is of the essence. Market participants are eager to start providing crowdfunding services to entrepreneurs and investors alike, and small businesses and entrepreneurs are eager to raise money and create jobs.
The next steps toward crowdfunding clearly won't happen under Schapiro's watch, leaving it to her interim replacement Elisse Walter, who was CCed on the letter from lawmakers.
Thanks to CFIRA for posting the letter.
- Eric Mack is Managing Editor for Crowdsourcing.org. He has covered business, technology and politics for more than a decade for major outlets including CNET, CBS, AOL, NPR, Wired, and the New York Times. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter and Google+. Also be sure to follow Crowdsourcing.org on Twitter.