This vote was on final passage of a bill aimed at expanding access to financial capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act was spearheaded by Republicans who argued it would unleash economic activity by cutting the “red tape” of government bureaucracy. The bill allows small start-up businesses to raise cash more easily by easing Securities and Exchange Commission regulations.
“I suggest that we are on the verge of doing something very constructive for our economy, for small businesses, and for job growth, and it might be one of the most constructive things we are going to do this year in that area,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said shortly before the vote. “This legislation makes it easier and more affordable for young and growing companies to go public, to raise the capital they need to grow, to hire more workers… This is going to create more jobs and more growth in the economy.”
Democrats argued that the bill would do little at best to create jobs, and some argued that it would open the door to financial fraud that would cost taxpayers in the end.
"At best, this bill could make it easier for con artists to defraud seniors out of their entire life savings by convincing them to invest in worthless companies. At worst, this bill has the potential to create the next Enron or Arthur Andersen scandal or an even worse financial crisis,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said. "Have we learned nothing? Deregulating Wall Street led to the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. Now the same people who caused this horrible recession are telling us that more Wall Street deregulation will create jobs. Give me a break. I strongly support providing small businesses with the tools they need to create jobs. Sadly, that's not at all what this bill will do."
The JOBS Act was passed by a vote of 73-26. Voting “yea” were 46 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Voting “nay” were 26 Democrats, including a majority of progressives. As a result, the JOBS Act was passed, sending to the U.S. House for consideration a bill aimed at expanding access to financial capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses.