Bipartisan Securities Bills Poised for House Floor

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By Rob Tricchinelli

Two securities bills with bipartisan support will go to the House Rules Committee April 3, clearing their path for House floor consideration later in the week.

The bills would increase the amount of stock options a company could give to its employees without making a wider set of investor disclosures ( H.R. 1343) and permit more investors to participate in an “early-stage” venture capital fund ( H.R. 1219).

‘Points on the Board.’

They were part of a package of capital formation legislation that attracted broad support in both the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees earlier this month.

The bills passed the House in a previous Congress and have a higher chance of going to the president than before, given the support in both chambers. Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said March 30 that the bills were an opportunity for legislators to put “points on the board” early in the financial space.

It isn’t clear when the bills will head to the floor, but House Rules action typically indicates an imminent floor vote. The two bills are the only ones from the package facing a possible House vote that week, a House aide told Bloomberg BNA.

Speed Bump

The stock options bill was part of a package that faced a procedural speed bump in the last Congress. Democratic opposition threatened its chances of earning the two-thirds majority it needed to pass under a suspension of House rules.

It was pulled from floor consideration in July 2015 and later routed through the Rules Committee, requiring only a simple majority to pass, which it eventually garnered, 265-159.

In March, the committee approved the bill 48-11, but House Republicans aren’t taking any chances this time that a two-thirds majority might not be attainable.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Tricchinelli in Washington at rtricchinelli@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at pdiamond@bna.com; Seth Stern at sstern@bna.com

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