A bill that started out as seven separate pieces of legislation intended to benefit business startups and stimulate job creation is coming in for criticism as it heads to the Senate, as opponents say that it does away with consumer protection.
The House passed, 390-23, H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act on Thursday, but not without vocal opposition from critics that range from consumer advocates to former Securities and Exchange Commission officials. Bloomberg reported that Lynn E. Turner, a former SEC chief accountant, said the bill would do away with investor protections that have been in place since the formation of the agency in the 1930s.
Turner was quoted saying, “It won’t create jobs, but it will simplify fraud. This would be better known as the bucket-shop and penny-stock fraud reauthorization act of 2012.” Others have been critical of the bill as well, despite its support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq OMX Group and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. President Barack Obama has supported a number of provisions in the bill.
Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt has criticized the bill, as has Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America. John Nester, spokesman for Mary Schapiro, chairman of the SEC, said Schapiro “believes that portions of the legislation either unnecessarily eliminate important investor protections or are not balanced with sufficient safeguards.”