This Week Revisited – Week of Jan. 9
On Tuesday, the House passed H.R. 79, the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups (HALOS) Act, by a vote of 344-73. (See Roll Call #31). This legislation amends the Securities Act of 1933 to clarify that certain startup companies are able to give presentations about their company and host certain types of events, like a “demo day,” without violating certain SEC investment solicitation bans. The bill attempts to ensure that startup companies do not inadvertently violate SEC regulations governing general solicitation of potential investors.
On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 5, the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, by a vote of 238-183. (See Roll Call #45). This legislation combines six previously passed reform minded bills to eliminate overly burdensome red tape and regulation in order to lift unnecessary burdens on hardworking Americans and to promote jobs, innovation, and economic growth.
On Thursday, the House passed H.R. 78, the SEC Regulatory Accountabilty Act of 2017, by a vote of 243-184. (See Roll Call #51). This legislation replaces guidance adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012 that currently governs the use of economic analysis in SEC rulemakings. H.R. 78 would require the SEC to identify and assess the significance of problems prior to regulating. The bill further requires the SEC’s Chief Economist to conduct a cost-benefit analysis when the SEC is promulgating regulations (including alternatives) and to provide an explanation describing the decision-making process, including the implications of not regulating. The bill requires the SEC to review existing regulations within one year of the bill’s enactment, and every five years thereafter, to determine the sufficiency, effectiveness, and burdens associated with its regulations.
On Thursday, the House also passed H.R. 238, the Commodity End-User Relief Act, by a vote of 239-182. (See Roll Call #54). This legislation authorizes appropriations to operate the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) through 2021 and make changes in some of the agency’s operating procedures. The bill also would amend the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) to provide greater protections for customer funds held by entities that broker transactions in commodity futures and make important changes to the CEA to reduce regulatory burdens on end-users who use futures and swaps transactions to efficiently manage business risks.
On Friday, the House also passed S. Con. Res. 3, the fiscal year 2017 Budget Resolution, by a vote of 227-198. (See Roll Call #58). This resolution provides reconciliation instructions to facilitate action on the repeal of Obamacare. The resolution instructs certain authorizing committees to report legislation to their respective Budget Committee by January 27, 2017.
On Friday, the House also passed S. 84, To Provide for an Exception to a Limitation Against Appointment of Persons as Secretary of Defense within Seven Years of Relief from Active Duty as a Regular Commissioned Officer of the Armed Forces, by a vote of 268-151-1. (See Roll Call #59) This legislation would provide a one-time exception to the law that prohibits the President from appointing a Secretary of Defense who served as a military officer within the last seven years, to permit President-elect Trump to appoint General Mattis as Secreatry of Defense.
Next week, President-elect Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America.