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House Approves Bipartisan Financial Services Bills
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 6:40 AM

The U.S. House on Monday passed three financial services bills with overwhelming bipartisan support.

HR 910, the ‘‘Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017”
Reps. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.) introduced HR 910, which directs the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide a safe harbor for research reports that cover exchange traded funds (ETFs) so that these reports are not considered “offers” under Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933. The bill requires the SEC to finalize the rules within 180 days, and if the deadline is not met, an interim safe harbor will take effect until the SEC’s rules are finalized.

"ETFs have seen explosive growth over the past three decades, but there is a lack of available research that could greatly benefit consumers due to the current securities laws," said Congressman Hill. "This bill provides a simple and common-sense fix to those laws by removing this unnecessary burden that prevents investor access to information. I appreciate the leadership and support of Congressman Foster, and I look forward to our continued partnership in working with the Senate to get this important bill signed into law."

The bill was approved 405-2.

HR 1312, the “Small Business Capital Formation Enhancement Act”
Introduced by Reps. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) and Juan Vargas (D-Calif.), HR 1312 requires the SEC to respond to any findings and recommendations put forth by the SEC’s annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation.

"In Maine, our small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and it is so important they have the tools they need to succeed, expand, and create jobs,” said Congressman Poliquin. “I’m enormously proud of this bipartisan legislation to make it easier—not harder—for our local businesses to access capital to grow and prosper. This is all about jobs.”

The bill was approved 406-0.

HR 1366, the “U.S. Territories Investor Protection Act of 2017”
Introduced by Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-NY), HR 1366 amends the Investment Company Act of 1940 to terminate an exemption for investment companies located in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and any other possession of the United States. Under current law, such entities are exempt so long as they sell their shares only to the residents of the territory or possession in which they operate. The bill provides a three-year safe harbor for investment companies that currently enjoy this exemption. Additionally, the bill authorizes the SEC to further delay the effective date—or end of the exemption—for a maximum of three years following the initial three-year safe harbor.

The bill was approved by voice vote.