WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks on the House floor today in support of the JOBS Act. Hensarling—who serves as co-chairman of the House Financial Services Committee where the bills included in the package originated—managed debate on the bi-partisan legislative package that will help small businesses and entrepreneurs access vital equity capital and put Americans back to work.
“Mr. Chairman, it is clear that jobs and the economy are issue number one for our constituents. Many of them don’t see the recovery. Even though professional economists may see it, it is clearly the slowest and weakest recovery in the post-war era.
“We still have now three full years of 8 percent-plus unemployment. Half of our population is now being classified as either low-income or in poverty. Again, our constituents are demanding jobs.
“Public policy makes a difference. Republicans have many disagreements with our president over public policy. We disagree with the $11 trillion of additional debt that he has put into his budget. We disagree with the $1.9 trillion in new job-killing tax increases he wants to impose, much of it on small businesses. We believe the Keystone pipeline with its 20,000 shovel-ready jobs should be approved. We believe these policies harm job growth and the economy.
“But Mr. Chairman, we have a rare occasion today, and that is there is something we do agree on. We have found an opportunity to work on a bipartisan basis on common ground with the President of the United States.
“The president said, ‘It is time to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly growing startup companies from raising capital and going public.’ House Republicans agree. Thus, we are happy to bring to the floor, on a bipartisan basis, the JOBS Act.
“The president has issued his Statement of Administration Policy endorsing this legislation. Again, a rare occurrence, and I believe it is something that our constituents would like to see us do. They want to see us stand on principle, but they also want to see us compromise on policies to advance those principles.
“So this is a bill that will give these emerging growth companies—perhaps the future Googles, perhaps the future Apples, the future Home Depots, the future Starbucks—that opportunity to now begin to access equity capital where the hurdles, the red tape, the cost burdens, have been too high.
“We know that of the many root causes of the economic debacle we had, clearly this was an economy that was over-leveraged. We in Congress need to do whatever we can to enable the startup companies, the job engines of America, to be able to access the equity markets and not just the debt markets.
“This is a bill which has been mostly approved previously by large majorities either in the Financial Services Committee or on the floor. I want to thank the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Fincher, for his leadership, Chairman Bachus, Leader Cantor, the ranking member Mr. Frank from Massachusetts.
“The American people want to see jobs, hope, and opportunities, so let’s pass the JOBS Act. Let’s pass it now.”