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Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act—Continued

Sen. Harry Reid

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that Senator Reed be recognized for 2 minutes and Senator Landrieu for 2 minutes. I ask unanimous consent that those two Senators be recognized.

Without objection, it is so ordered.

Sen. Jack Reed

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Mr. President, I thank the majority leader. I rise because in a moment we will be voting on the Reed-Landrieu-Levin substitute amendment. This legislation corrects glaring defects in the House-proposed bill on a so-called jobs bill. It protects investors. It allows capital formation, but it does not do that at the expense of investors.

We have taken all the major provisions of the House bill with respect to the IPO onramp. We have not deleted them, we have improved them. We have lowered the threshold in terms of the size of the business so these IPO onramps can be designed for small businesses, not for businesses of $1 billion in annual revenue.

We have gone ahead and looked at the aspects of regulation A in the House, and we agree there should be an increase in the limit from $5 million to $50 million. But we have made improvements. For example, the House bill will allow people to solicit these securities under regulation A without audited financials. I think at a minimum the investing public should have some audited financials to rely upon.

We have taken provisions with respect to the ability to go dark--the ability to stop reporting if you have 2,000 or less record owners--and we have raised the limit from the existing 1 to 750 beneficial owners. But we haven't opened it broadly so that large well-known companies could suddenly stop reporting their financial information on a routine basis.

We have looked at the reg D offerings in terms of a private offering versus a public offering, and we have given the Securities and Exchange Commission the ability, in this age of the Internet and of Twitter, to make adjustments so that a private offering under reg D would not be compromised because it gets into the media through Twitter, et cetera. But we haven't opened it to general solicitation, as the House bill does.

By the way, our bill actually tries to create jobs, not just opportunities to raise funds through Wall Street. With Senator Landrieu's help, we have strong small business provisions in there. We include the Ex-Im Bank provisions of Senator Cantwell. We worked very closely with Senators Merkley, Bennet, and Brown of Massachusetts to include a crowdfunding provision which is much superior.

If we do not achieve cloture, we will see, by default, a bad House bill on its way to becoming law.

The Senator has used 2 minutes.

The Senator from Louisiana.

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu

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Following up on the leadership of the good Senator from Rhode Island, let me say there are many reasons--many reasons--to vote against cloture on the House bill, and I will get to that in a minute. But I am urging my colleagues to vote yes on cloture for the Reed-Landrieu-Levin substitute.

We have tried to address the many concerns raised by the House bill in our substitute. If we vote yes on cloture for our substitute, we can then go into some more meaningful debate on the Senate floor, and this bill needs some additional debate.

Mary Schapiro from the SEC said, clearly, the House bill goes too far. The Chamber of Commerce even says there are concerns in the House bill. AARP is opposed to the House bill. Securities and Exchange Commissioner Mary Schapiro wrote last week:

H.R. 3606 would remove certain important measures put in place to enforce separation between the research analysts and investment bankers who work for the same firms. These careful principles were put in after the scandals that ensued on Wall Street.

This bill has flown out of the House. Even Barney Frank said what we are doing in the Senate, by slowing it down and amending it, is the right thing. So I urge my colleagues to give our substitute a chance. They can vote yes on Senator Cantwell's amendment, and vote no on cloture to the House bill so we can continue this important debate in the Senate.

The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion.

The bill clerk read as follows:

We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, hereby move to bring to a close debate on the substitute amendment No. 1833 to H.R. 3606, an Act to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies. Harry Reid, Mary L. Landrieu, Ben Nelson, Carl Levin, Jon Tester, Mark Begich, Patty Murray, Mark R. Warner, Christopher A. Coons, Robert Menendez, Thomas R. Carper, Joseph I. Lieberman, Debbie Stabenow, Robert P. Casey, Jr., Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall, Jim Webb, Barbara Boxer.

By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived.

The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on amendment No. 1833 to H.R. 3606, an act to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies, shall be brought to a close?

The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.

The clerk will call the roll.

The bill clerk called the roll.

Sen. Jon Kyl

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The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Kirk).

Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 54, nays 45, as follows:

[Rollcall Vote No. 51 Leg.] YEAS--54 Akaka Baucus Begich Bennet Bingaman Blumenthal Boxer Brown (MA) Brown (OH) Cantwell Cardin Carper Casey Conrad Coons Durbin Feinstein Franken Gillibrand Hagan Harkin Inouye Johnson (SD) Kerry Klobuchar Kohl Landrieu Lautenberg Leahy Levin Lieberman Manchin McCaskill Menendez Merkley Mikulski Murray Nelson (NE) Nelson (FL) Pryor Reed Reid Rockefeller Sanders Schumer Shaheen Stabenow Tester Udall (CO) Udall (NM) Warner Webb Whitehouse Wyden NAYS--45 Alexander Ayotte Barrasso Blunt Boozman Burr Chambliss Coats Coburn Cochran Collins Corker Cornyn Crapo DeMint Enzi Graham Grassley Hatch Heller Hoeven Hutchison Inhofe Isakson Johanns Johnson (WI) Kyl Lee Lugar McCain McConnell Moran Murkowski Paul Portman Risch Roberts Rubio Sessions Shelby Snowe Thune Toomey Vitter Wicker NOT VOTING--1 Kirk

On this vote, the yeas are 54, the nays are 45. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is rejected.

The majority leader is recognized.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Madam President, we need order in the Senate. People should take their seats. The Republican leader has some words he wants to share with the Senate.

The Republican leader is recognized.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

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Madam President, on my leader time, briefly, there is substantial support on this side of the aisle for the Ex-Im Bank. However, it is important that we get this bipartisan JOBS bill that passed the House overwhelmingly and that the President supports on down to the President. So it is going to be my recommendation to my Members, which I hope they will follow, that we oppose cloture on adding the Ex-Im to this bill.

I say to my friend the majority leader, I have discussed this with virtually all my Members. We believe that if you turn to the Ex-Im matter, we can pass it in a relatively short time with very few amendments related to the subject matter. But I think it is important that we get this JOBS bill down to the President.

I urge my colleagues at this particular point on this particular bill to oppose cloture.

The majority leader is recognized.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Madam President, at a meeting very recently with people from the Pentagon, their No. 1 issue is not Afghanistan, it is not Iraq, it is not Pakistan, it is not North Korea, it is not Iran, it is cybersecurity. We have to move to that legislation. The post office is going broke as we speak. We have to move to that bill as quickly as we can. The Violence Against Women Act has expired. We have to move forward on that. We have so much to do in such a short period of time.

The Export-Import Bank is a powerful piece of legislation--300,000 jobs this year alone. It saves $1 billion. And my Republican colleagues, as has been standard procedure around here, even on a bill that is as supported as this by the country, want to have a fight. The fight is on a procedural matter, that they want offered amendments--plural.

As my friend the Republican leader said, we could pass this bill in a relatively short period of time. Think about that. Right now, we could pass that, it would be part of this IPO bill we got from the House, and we could go on about our business. So I think this is a huge mistake by my Republican colleagues.

Everyone, listen. Ex-Im is, for the foreseeable future, not going to be able to be moved forward. I cannot move it to the front of everything else when we have all these things due. I have only talked about a few of the things we have to do, and we have to do them very soon.

So go ahead, my friends. You picked a fight where it is not a necessary fight, but you may be surprised how this winds up. I will say no more. I know what the rules of the Senate are, and I am going to follow them. So have at it, vote no on the Ex-Im Bank.

The Republican leader.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

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This JOBS bill passed overwhelmingly in the House, with only 23 votes against it, supported by the President of the United States. It is ready to go down to him for signature. If we add the Ex-Im Bank to it, we only delay the passage of this bipartisan JOBS bill, and we send it back to the House, and we don't know how they feel about the Ex-Im extension. We do know that here in the Senate, as I just indicated, there is a significant majority in favor of passing this legislation, which we ought to be able to do very quickly.

I do not think there is any particular reason for delaying a jobs bill that is overwhelmingly supported on a bipartisan basis; therefore, I say to my friends on this side who are in favor of the Ex-Im Bank, I am in favor of moving to that rapidly. I can say to the majority leader, as I said before, we would be willing to agree to very few amendments related to the subject matter. I encourage him to turn to that soon, even though it doesn't expire, I believe, until sometime in May.

With that, I yield the floor.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Madam President, I say go ahead and vote against a bill you favor. It is very clear. The only way to ensure that this program, the Ex-Im Bank, advances is to see that it is attached to the House measure. Clearly, that is it.

I am very, very tired of this bill, the IPO bill, being referred to as a jobs bill. That takes a lot of gall, to talk about that as a jobs bill. We have a jobs bill that we, on a bipartisan basis, passed after 5 weeks on the Senate floor. Have I heard one word from my Republican colleagues about a real jobs bill, saying, why is the Speaker driving a nail in this bill that we worked on for 5 weeks?

Understand that the surface transportation bill is a jobs bill. The IPO bill is a nice thing to do, if it were done in the right manner and we had some amendments that got rid of some of the bad provisions. Before this is all over, that may be just what happens.

The Republican Leader.

Sen. Mitch McConnell

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If I may say to those who are watching and those interested in the Ex-Im Bank, if I had my good friend Harry Reid's job and I were the majority leader, we would be turning to the Ex-Im Bank next, right after this, and we would be doing it with very few amendments because the advantage to being the majority leader, obviously, is you have the ability to schedule. I want everybody who is following this issue to understand that if I were setting the agenda, the next item up, right after this bipartisan jobs bill, would be the Ex-Im Bank.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Madam President, remember, anyone who can read--we can all do that--the morning press accounts. Cantor of the House leadership has said he doesn't support the Ex-Im Bank; that my amendment--my amendment, sponsored by Democrats and Republicans--was a partisan maneuver. They are not about to take the Ex-Im Bank unless it is part of the overall package, and that is why we are doing it this way.

Madam President, as my friend the Republican leader said so clearly, he is not the leader. I am. We have a number of very important issues we have to deal with. Even though I believe in the Ex-Im program, it is going to drop to the bottom of the calendar because we have things we have to do.

The cloture motion having been presented under rule XXII, the Chair directs the clerk to read the motion to invoke cloture.

The legislative clerk read as follows:

We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on amendment No. 1836 to H.R. 3606, an Act to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies. Harry Reid, Ben Nelson, Mary L. Landrieu, Carl Levin, Jon Tester, Mark Begich, Patty Murray, Mark R. Warner, Christopher A. Coons, Robert Menendez, Thomas R. Carper, Joseph I. Lieberman, Debbie Stabenow, Robert P. Casey, Jr., Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall, Jim Webb, Barbara Boxer.

By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived.

The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on amendment No. 1836 to H.R. 3606, an act to increase American job creation and economic growth by improving access to the public capital markets for emerging growth companies, shall be brought to a close?

The yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.

The clerk will call the roll.

The legislative clerk called the roll.

Sen. Jon Kyl

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The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator from Illinois (Mr. Kirk).

Are there any other Senators in the Chamber desiring to vote?

[Rollcall Vote No. 52 Leg.] YEAS--55 Akaka Baucus Begich Bennet Bingaman Blumenthal Boxer Brown (MA) Brown (OH) Cantwell Cardin Carper Casey Collins Conrad Coons Durbin Feinstein Franken Gillibrand Hagan Harkin Heller Inouye Johnson (SD) Kerry Klobuchar Kohl Landrieu Lautenberg Leahy Levin Lieberman Manchin McCaskill Menendez Merkley Mikulski Murray Nelson (NE) Nelson (FL) Pryor Reed Reid Rockefeller Schumer Shaheen Stabenow Tester Udall (CO) Udall (NM) Warner Webb Whitehouse Wyden NAYS--44 Alexander Ayotte Barrasso Blunt Boozman Burr Chambliss Coats Coburn Cochran Corker Cornyn Crapo DeMint Enzi Graham Grassley Hatch Hoeven Hutchison Inhofe Isakson Johanns Johnson (WI) Kyl Lee Lugar McCain McConnell Moran Murkowski Paul Portman Risch Roberts Rubio Sanders Sessions Shelby Snowe Thune Toomey Vitter Wicker NOT VOTING--1 Kirk

On this vote, the yeas are 55, the nays are 44. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to.

The majority leader.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Madam President, for my Members, we are going to have a conference at 5:15 in the LBJ Room. I have spoken to the Republican leader. We will have no more votes tonight. We will determine a time in the morning to have the next vote or votes. We will move on from there. So, again, I say to my Senators, 5:15 in the LBJ Room.

I note the absence of a quorum.

The clerk will call the roll.

The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.

Sen. Harry Reid

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Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

Without objection, it is so ordered.