One small step for business but no giant steps for the major issues of the day.
That’s how Rep. Bryan Steil described his first legislative success in the House on Tuesday.
The vote was 417-2 for the Steil-authored Expanding Investment in Small Businesses Act of 2019, known as House Resolution 3050.
“In a period of divided government, the transformational change we need to address, such as immigration reform, protecting Social Security and tackling our $20 trillion debt, will be hard to obtain,” the first-term Republican from Janesville said in a news release.
“While I’m working on the big issues, I’m also focused on small wins,” the 1st District representative continued. “This bill is an example of Democrats and Republicans working together to make a positive change.”
The bill addresses a 1940 law that makes it difficult for some small companies to “go public,” or sell shares of their companies.
Certain “diversified investment companies,” such as mutual funds, are not allowed to own more than 10 percent of the securities of a single stock issuer. This bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to study whether that threshold should be raised.
The SEC would be required to study whether the limitation makes it harder for small businesses to raise money.
The commission is required to issue any recommendation for change within 180 days of the bill becoming law. That won’t happen unless it also is approved by the Senate and the president.
“This bill eliminates barriers so entrepreneurs can obtain capital, hire workers and create good paying jobs in our community. We must give small businesses more opportunities to expand and hire workers,” Steil said.
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, the lead Democratic co-sponsor, agreed, saying, “We need more bipartisan efforts like this to empower entrepreneurs so they can invest in local communities.”