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Committee Approves Four Bipartisan Bills to Relieve Red Tape Burden on Job Creators

Washington, June 19, 2013 - The House Financial Services Committee today passed four bills -- all with significant bipartisan support -- to reduce the red tape burden on job creators at a time when excessive and unnecessary regulations are hurting the nation’s economy.

“This committee is continuing to consider targeted, pragmatic, and bipartisan fixes to some provisions that are unnecessary or unduly burdensome upon our job creators -- when today, we still have millions of our fellow countrymen unemployed or underemployed. We have an economy that regrettably is growing at perhaps 1 ½ to 2 percent GDP growth when we know 3 ½ percent is the norm,” Chairman Hensarling said. “That is not good enough for low and moderate income families who are still struggling to either secure the paychecks they have or seek the paychecks they do not yet have.”

The following is a summary of the four bills the committee passed today including the vote count:

H.R. 1564 (52-0) the Audit Integrity and Job Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA), prohibits the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board (PCAOB) from mandating the automatic rotation of a public company’s independent external auditor. This legislation was drafted in response to the PCAOB’s August 16, 2011, Concept Release on Auditor Independence and Audit Firm Rotation. Selecting a company’s external auditor should be a decision made by a public company’s board of directors and ratified by its shareholders – not a decision made by a regulator. 

H.R. 1105 (38-18) the Small Business Capital Access and Job Preservation Act, also introduced by Rep. Hurt, would exempt advisers to certain private equity funds from the new, burdensome registration requirements imposed by Title IV of the Dodd-Frank Act. Private equity funds did not cause the financial crisis, and private equity and growth capital funds pose no systemic risk to the economy. H.R. 1105 reduces new, complicated and unnecessary registration requirements that unfairly burden an industry responsible for investing billions of dollars in U.S. businesses each year. 

H.R. 1135 (36-21) the Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI), would repeal Section 953(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 953’s mandate related to “median pay” compensation disclosures is unworkable and costly to implement. This requirement could be interpreted as requiring all public companies to determine the compensation of all of its employees around the world, calculate the median annual compensation, and include this information in every filing with the SEC. The personnel resources required to develop and monitor these statistics would be extensive.

H.R. 2374 (44-13) the Retail Investor Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), would link the Department of Labor’s expected rulemaking to amend the definition of a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) with the permissive rulemaking authority provided to the SEC in Section 913 of the Dodd-Frank Act regarding standards of care applicable to broker-dealers and investment advisers. The legislation prevents the Secretary of Labor from prescribing any regulation under ERISA defining the circumstances under which an individual is considered a fiduciary until the date that is 60 days after the SEC issues a final rule relating to standards of conduct for brokers and dealers pursuant section 913 of Dodd-Frank. Section 913(g)(1) of Dodd-Frank authorizes, but does not require, the SEC to promulgate rules to extend the fiduciary standard of conduct applicable to investment advisors to broker-dealers when providing advice about securities to retail customers.

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