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Senate Continues to Grapple with Crowdfunding

Last week, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly (390-23) to pass H.R. 3606 "Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.”  This legislation included six existing bills, four of which had passed the House already, and which have been supported by CompTIA as a means of infusing capital into small businesses.  Among the bills included in this package was crowdfunding, H.R. 2930, which had initially passed the House in November by an even larger margin of 407-17.  So at this point, the House has passed crowdfunding twice; both by overwhelming margins.  All we need now is for the Senate to move the ball forward. 

It seems likely that the Senate will take up the House-passed H.R. 3606, which includes crowdfunding and other access to capital provisions.  Just yesterday, Leader Reid announced his intention to consider the House version, rather than to develop its own legislation, as some had speculated.  This is a positive step, which could bring crowdfunding into reality.  The President has endorsed crowdfunding already noting that the House crowdfunding bill was “broadly consistent” with the President’s proposal from the Startup America initiative intended to direct equity capital to small businesses. 
We also see more urgency with the crowdfunding issue in the Senate.  Just this week, Sen. Merkley introduced the “Crowdfund Act” (S. 2190) with bi-partisan co-sponsors, Sens. Bennett, Brown and Landrieu.  Sen. Brown had been working on crowdfunding for some time and had introduced his own bill last November, the Democratizing Access to Capital Act (S. 1791). 

Crowdfunding and the other access to capital provisions contained in H.R. 3606 are simple concepts that could bring a powerful influx of capital to deserving small businesses.  This will create jobs.  The Senate should move to pass H.R. 3606 now.