Easing Main Street’s burdens

Published 12:02 pm Thursday, September 15, 2016

This week, the U.S. House acted in an effort to alleviate burdens standing in the way of Main Street businesses’ access to capital.

As I travel through Virginia’s 5th District, the negative effects of federal over-regulation and government mandates can be seen among our small businesses. That is why I introduced the Investment Advisers Modernization Act of 2016, along with congressmen Bill Foster (D-Illinois), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) and Juan Vargas (D-California), earlier this year and am pleased to announce it passed the House of Representatives with a bipartisan vote of 261-145. This bill will serve to rid the Investment Advisers Act (IAA) of 1940 of outdated, duplicative and burdensome regulations that impose an unnecessary hardship on our small businesses’ ability to access capital.

Unfortunately, in recent years, we have witnessed Central and Southside Virginia suffering tremendous job losses. A bright spot has been the jobs maintained and created by small companies backed by private equity investment. This bipartisan effort to streamline the IAA in no way impedes the ability of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to carry out its role, nor does it repeal the registration requirement imposed by Dodd-Frank.

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Rather, this measure is a much-needed legislative update to a law no longer adequately reflecting the current model of our nation’s small businesses and investors. We developed the proposal in a deliberative, inclusive manner with input from Republicans, Democrats, the SEC and other stakeholders. This open approach to reform attracted the support from more than half of the Democrats and all of the Republicans on the Financial Service Committee during a committee markup in June.

Congress has the important responsibility to review and update our laws from time to time to ensure we have a more efficient and effective regulatory system to protect investors while enabling our Main Street and small businesses to access capital and create jobs.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and the ability for them to access private capital is imperative for their success and the success of our local and national economies. In order for our economy to grow and for our small business owners to be able to create the jobs we need, we must remove unnecessary regulations tying up private capital and create economic uncertainty. We also need to put in place policies encouraging investment, innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit that makes America the beacon of economic opportunity.

I remain committed to empowering our small businesses in Virginia’s 5th District and beyond with the opportunity to succeed, and it is my hope the Obama Administration will work with us in Congress to sign this legislation into law.

Robert Hurt represents Farmville, Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached at his Farmville office at (434) 395-0120 or by email at hurt.house.gov.