This was a vote on a motion to end debate on a bill that would help small businesses and entrepreneurs gain access to financial capital. Passage of the motion would have allowed the Senate to move to a final, up-or-down vote on the bill.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, was touted by Congressional Republicans as a way to boost economic activity. The bill eased regulations for small businesses in a way designed to help them raise money to build their companies. The bill had already been approved by the U.S. House, and the Obama Administration had expressed support.
While the bill received wide bipartisan support, Republicans and Democrats disagreed on its importance. Republicans championed the bill as a way to cut red tape for small businesses.
Democrats argued that the impact of the bill would be very small at best, with some arguing it would open the door to fraud that would end up costing taxpayers.
“We have seen too many examples lately of what can happen when we don't protect the little guys from Wall Street greed,” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) said. “We can't afford to go back to the days when Enron was able to swindle thousands of Americans out of their life savings. I appreciate the work of my colleagues on this matter, but we owe it to American workers and families to see to it that this bill preserves investor confidence and integrity in our markets.”
The motion to end debate on the JOBS Act was passed by a vote of 76-22. Voting “yea” were 45 Republicans and 31 Democrats. Voting “nay” were 22 Democrats, including a majority of progressives. As a result, the Senate moved forward to a final vote on the bill easing access to financial capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.