Today, the House will vote on the JOBS Act. This bipartisan legislation rolls back costly regulations to boost capital formation, help startups and small businesses get off the ground, and paves the way for more small businesses to go public and create jobs. The JOBS Act has the support of the White House, both parties in Congress, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Forum, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, Independent Community Bankers of America, SecondMarket and SIFMA.
As the Wall Street Journal wrote this morning, the JOBS Act “underlines what an asset GOP control of House has been to taxpayers,” by delivering common sense solutions that remove Washington red tape and the threat of higher taxes. The JOBS Act represents an opportunity for both parties to work together and produce results for job creation, small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs. We urge Senator Reid to take up the bill as quickly as possible and get it to the President’s desk for his signature.
Today In History: On March 8, 1971, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met for the "Fight of the Century" at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The fight lived up to the hype. In the 15th round, Frazier landed a left hook to Ali’s right chin, knocking down the champ for the first time in his pro career. Ali got up, but Frazier won the fight by unanimous decision, retaining his title and delivering Ali the first loss of his career.
Birthdays: Gov. George Allen, Hines Ward, Freddie Prinze Jr, and James Van Der Beek
Here is what’s in today’s Ledger ...
State Of Play: House To Vote On The Bipartisan JOBS Act Today
Leader Cantor: Growing The Economy, Helping Entrepreneurs & Small Businessmen and Women Is Something We Can All Agree On. “This is a series of bills that has been combined into one bill called the JOBS Act - it’s the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act. We worked with Steve Case who is the founder of AOL up in northern Virginia and the President’s Chairman of the White House Jobs Council. He and I have met several times and we worked on measures that we felt both sides would agree on. Some of the measures that are part of this larger package now have already passed the House of Representatives with significant bipartisan support. So we felt we’re giving both sides things that they agree on and setting aside our differences. As you know, it’s been too long now in Washington where the focus has been on the differences rather than on what brings us together. And I think growing the economy, helping entrepreneurs and small businessmen and women, not only in Virginia but across the country, is the way to go.” WRVA Richmond’s Morning News
WSJ: The JOBS Act Provides A Boost To Small Business Job Creators, Removes Regulatory Barriers For Entrepreneurs. Every bill that comes to the floor these days seems to include the word "Jobs" in the title, and in this case it's an acronym for Jumpstart Our Business Startups. The Jobs Act is cobbled together from other measures that passed the House or Senate over the last year and are meant to encourage entrepreneurship and capital formation. Remarkably enough, all of them are useful, and taken together they'll probably do some modest economic good. Even the White House is on board, and not because it thought "Our Business" referred to General Motors and Solyndra. The Administration issued a statement this week endorsing the Jobs Act, writing that "Helping startups and small businesses succeed and create jobs is fundamental to having an economy built to last." … Maybe the best regulatory overhaul is a new "on ramp" for IPOs that defers the infamous Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404(b) accounting rules for up to five years. A new class of issuer called "emerging growth companies" with under $1 billion in revenues or less than $700 million in shares would be exempt. Such companies could then deploy capital to create new jobs or find its highest return rather than turning it over to an outside auditor. There are a few other stray cats and dogs, but it's notable in particular that the Congressional Budget Office estimates the total net costs "would not be significant." In of itself this underlines what an asset GOP control of House has been to taxpayers. Another Pelosi Congress might not have matched its epic 2009-10 spending binge, but many more micro-nonstimulus programs in the mold of "cash for clunkers" would be proliferating. Clearing out some of the regulatory underbrush—one Jobs Act provision changes an SEC rule in effect since 1964—is the better option. The Wall Street Journal
• WSJ Reminds Us: House Republicans Have Sent Over 30 Bipartisan Jobs Bills To Senate Democrats, But Senator Reid Refuses To Vote On Them. There are plenty of things Washington could do to jump start growth and investment even short of a major tax reform, and House Republicans have passed literally dozens of bills that would help the economy. But they lie dormant in the Senate because Democrats won't endorse anything unless it comes with a major tax increase. The Wall Street Journal
• View The UPDATED Jobs Tracker HERE - Senator Reid and Senator Schumer Have Over 30 Opportunities To Act On Jobs – Let The Vote-A-Rama Begin!
Rep. Fincher: The JOBS Act Makes It Easier For Small Businesses To Expand and Create Private Sector Jobs. The Obama administration has endorsed U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher's bill to exempt companies with $700 million in publicly traded shares from the external auditing requirement of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The Republican freshman from Crockett County, Tenn., spoke on the House floor during a debate on the bill Wednesday, saying "it is imperative we reduce regulations to help these small companies create private jobs for Americans." He was joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., who said Fincher's bill "makes it easier for these entrepreneurs and small-business owners to get off the ground, grow and create jobs." … In a statement of administration policy released Tuesday, the Office of Management and Budget said it supports passage of the bill, noting that it represents "common ground" with proposals President Barack Obama has proposed to facilitate capital formation and job growth. The Commercial Appeal
• Leader Cantor: The Administration Supporting The JOBS Act Is Great News For America’s Small Businesses. And the White House agrees. It released a message of support Monday, saying that President Obama “is encouraged to see there is common ground between his approach and some of the proposals” in the JOBS Act. “The Administration looks forward to continuing to work with the House and the Senate to craft legislation that facilitates capital formation and job growth for small businesses and provides appropriate investor protections,” the White House statement added. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), a frequent Obama foe, called the White House support “great news for the small businessmen and women, entrepreneurs and startups that are driving job creation across the country.” The Washington Post
Whip McCarthy: The JOBS Act Repeals Outdated Regulations Giving Our Innovators A Much Needed Boost. One of the largest barriers preventing this economic comeback is the difficulty that small businesses and entrepreneurs face in accessing equity capital necessary for starting and growing a business. In response, House Republicans have introduced the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS Act). The JOBS Act reforms and repeals the regulations that hold back business startup growth. It includes a provision that I authored and introduced – the Access to Capital for Job Creators Act, which convincingly passed the House with bipartisan support. My bill repeals an outdated SEC regulation that restricts small businesses and entrepreneurs from using advertising to raise capital. It also includes several other provisions that ease restrictions that hold back capital formation through “crowdfunding” and IPOs. We live in the age of Facebook and Twitter, we need regulatory policies that adapt to our innovative economy and keep us competitive. We can’t afford to stay stuck in the past. By removing the weight of government policies that stunt small business and entrepreneurial growth, we can put America on a better path forward. San Diego Union-Tribune
Speaker Boehner: It’s Time For President Obama To Pick Up The Phone and Tell Harry Reid To Get Moving. Tomorrow we’re going to pass the JOBS Act. The President has said nice things about it. It would help small companies have better access to capital, help them grow and if the president, again, is serious about helping the economy, he ought to pick up a phone, call Harry Reid and say, “Hey Harry, it’s time to get moving on some of these. On The Record
State Of Play (2): House Republicans Take To The Floor To Promote Small Business Growth With The JOBS Act
• VIDEO - Leader Cantor calls on Senator Reid to take up the JOBS Act and send the bill to President Obama
• VIDEO - Rep. Fincher on increasing investment capital access for high-growth small businesses
• VIDEO - Rep. Schweikert on regulatory relief and increasing the flexibility of small businesses to grow and create jobs
• VIDEO - Rep. McHenry on enabling startups, reducing red tape and crowdfunding
• VIDEO - Rep. Quayle on removing regulatory barriers for small businesses
Across The Dome: Senate Republicans Call On Leader Reid To Hold A Vote On The JOBS Act
Leader McConnell: The Senate Should Take Up The JOBS Act and Pass It. On the one hand you’ve got a Republican-controlled House that’s about to pass a bipartisan jobs bill that would help entrepreneurs and innovators by getting Washington out of the way. And today we’ve got a Democratic-controlled Senate trying to line up votes against amendments that would create jobs—and a President lobbying against the biggest one. We’ve got an opportunity to work together to create jobs. We can do that with these amendments. And we can do that by taking up the bipartisan jobs bill the House will pass later today. Let me just say a word about that. The bipartisan jobs bill the House will pass later today is supported by the President. It is ready to go, and I hope that once it gets over to the Senate we'll simply take it up and pass it. It's an example of a measure that is supported by Republicans and Democrats and the President that we believe will clear the House with a very large majority. I think the sooner we pass that here in the Senate and send it down to the President for signature, the better. Floor Remarks
Senator Toomey: Leader Cantor's JOBS Act Provides The Senate With A Real Chance To Help Small Business In A Bipartisan Manner. “In particular, I want to thank House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Congressman Cantor took the step of pulling together a series of bills, series of separate bills, putting them together in a package, a capital formation package. There is very, very broad support for this package in the House. I think under his leadership, it's very likely to pass the House soon and present a tremendous opportunity for us here because there's broad bipartisan support for these common sense reforms that will help companies raise capital and grow. The bipartisan support includes the President of the United States. Much to his credit, the President, just yesterday, I believe, issued a formal statement of administrative policy indicating his full support for the passage of the measure that Congressman Cantor, Leader Cantor, is proposing in the House.” Floor Remarks
The Obama Premium: President Obama Personally Lobbies Against Keystone As Gas Prices Continue To Climb
President Obama’s Pain-At-The-Pump Policies. President Obama on Tuesday flatly dismissed the notion he’s content to see gas prices rise. “Just from a political perspective, do you think the president of the United States going into re-election wants gas prices to go up higher?” he asked “Is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense? I want gas prices lower because they hurt families.” Really? Because just yesterday, the president declared, “Oil is the fuel of the past,” … Clearly, Obama is marching in lock-step with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who told a House committee last week that the administration has no policy on higher gas prices — except to let them rise. Asked point-blank by Rep. Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.) if the “overall goal is to get our [gasoline] price down,” Chu responded: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil.” … Still, for the last three years, the administration has been relentlessly hostile to increased domestic oil exploration and distribution — killing the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, granting fewer approvals of oil leases and permits on federal lands and stifling Gulf of Mexico drilling activity. Meanwhile, the administration this week rolled out another old chestnut — a “gas price task force” focused on speculation in the oil and gas markets, but specifically not focused on exploration or new drilling. If that sounds familiar, it’s because the task force was introduced last spring as prices spiked — but has reportedly met only four or five times since then. New York Post
• President Obama Is “Personally Lobbying” Senate Democrats Against Voting For Keystone, Americans Jobs, and Energy Security. President Barack Obama is intervening in a Senate fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline and personally lobbying Democrats to reject an amendment calling for its construction, according to several sources familiar with the talks. The White House lobbying effort, including phone calls from the president to Democrats, signals that the vote could be close when it heads to the floor Thursday. The president is trying to defeat an amendment that would give election-year fodder to his Republican critics who have accused him of blocking a job-creating energy project at a time of high gas prices. Politico
Underemployment Continues Its Upward Climb. Gallup's U.S. underemployment measure, which combines the percentage of workers who are unemployed and the percentage working part time but wanting full-time work, increased to 19.1% in February from 18.7% in January. Regardless of what the government reports, Gallup's unemployment and underemployment measures show a substantial deterioration since mid-January. … So while there may be positive signs, the reality Gallup finds is that more Americans are looking for work now than were doing so just six weeks ago. Gallup