Floor Updates

Coons, Reid, Udall-CO

Morning Business/JOBS Act (H.R. 3606)

Mar 15 2012

11:41 AM

Senator Coons: (10:49 AM)
  • Spoke on the American Dream Accounts Act of 2012.
    • SUMMARY "The American dream will expand on this idea and use modern social networking technology to bring together existing programs and deliver ideas that will work for more kids and the good news is that by utilizing existing department of education funds, this legislation comes at no additional cost to taxpayers. What makes the American dream accounts work is their unique ability to honest - harness the power available to access some of the biggest college access. The journey from elementary school to finishing high school is long. So many students in our public schools all over this country disengage or even drop out along the way because they're not connected. They attend large and sometimes anonymous schools. Their parents are stretched too thin in this tough economy trying to hang on to their jobs and their housing, and, frankly, a dedicated cadre of teachers can only do so much and these kids as they become less and less connected to a clear vision of their future drop out or make choice that is make it unlikely they'll finish high school and go on to college. American dream accounts take advantage of modern technology. They are a Facebook-inspired opportunity to deliver on secure personalized hubs of information that would connect these kids, sustain and support them throughout the entire journey of education. Second, it connects them with college savings opportunities Part of the American dream accounts is the idea of connecting young people to college savings accounts. Virtually every state has college staving program yet they are not accessed by the works class of America. Connecting students to college savings accounts has powerful impact. Studies show students who know there is a dedicated college savings account in their name are seven times more likely to go to college than their peers without one. This legislation would help open an individual savings account for each enrolled student from the beginnings of elementary school. It matters less how much money is in the account than that students are aware there is one. The third piece of this program is early intervention. State and federal governments already spend billions of dollars, on higher education, on Pell grants at the federal level in my state of Delaware on C grants. We provide this money to afford college but don't tell kid they're there until they're in high school. Most kids have already made decisions by then that make them ineligible to finish high school or attend college. So why not tell them earlier, particular given the potential impact of this information. We can change outcomes. Last is portability. One of the things I saw in my own experience with my own dreamers in Delaware was how often they moved and how often overstretched teachers with full classrooms didn't get any information or background on the student who moved into their classroom halfway through the year. So instead of being welcomed and engaged in a positive way, they became discipline problems or were difficult to teach to. This robust online secure account would empower teachers to connect with parents and mentors and understand the students who are before them. That's why portability and persistence is an essential feature of American dream accounts. This way no matter what disruptions or challenge a student might face as they travel through education, their American dream account would travel with them."

Senator Reid: (11:13 AM)
  • Offered Reid (for Reed and et al) substitute amendment #1333.
  • Proposed amendment #1834 to amendment #1833.
  • Proposed second degree amendment #1835 to amendment #1834.
  • Filed cloture on the Reid (for Reed et al) substitute amendment #1333 to H.R. 3606, the JOBS Act.
  • Offered Reid (for Cantwell et al) amendment #1836 (Export-Import Bank).
  • Proposed second degree amendment #1837 to Reid (for Cantwell et al) amendment #1836 (Export-Import Bank).
  • Filed cloture on Reid (for Cantwell et al) amendment #1836 (Export-Import Bank).
  • Moved to commit H.R. 3606, to the Committee on Housing and Urban Affairs to report back with amendment #1838.
  • Proposed amendment #1839 to #1838 to the motion to commit H.R. 3606, the JOBS Act.
  • Proposed second degree amendment #1840 to amendment #1839.
  • Filed cloture on H.R. 3606, the JOBS Act.
  • The amendment tree has been filled.

Senator Udall-CO: (11:22 AM)
  • Spoke on the JOBS Act.
    • SUMMARY "The problem is we're still leaving small businesses behind. Why is that? The JOBS Act is aimed at companies with revenue under $1 billion. Let me repeat that. Billion with a B. These companies may well need help with an IPO, but I'm talking about offering relief to main street, and in light of this, I'm still committed and I appreciate the majority leader's comments, I've been very persistent on this, I'm still committed to allowing credit unions to increase the amount of money they can lend to small businesses and our bipartisan small business act was the first amendment filed to this bill and still hold out hope we'll find a way to include it in the bill. We ought to pass it immediately. We would see immediately he immediate results if we did so. Let me share a couple of examples of why I think this is so important and they're Colorado-centric. I know the presiding officer makes a point to talk about his home state on an ongoing basis. Let me talk about two small business owners in Colorado who made a difference with the help of credit unions. Stacey Hammond owns the first street salon and Lisa Herman owns happy cakes bake shop in Highland Square. They were turned away from their banks. and in the breach, Credit Unions arrived and they lent to these two small business women. and they were able to grow their businesses and hire their fellow Coloradans to help them. They didn't need a billion-dollar IPO, they needed a small bridge loan and we could be making a huge difference in many, many communities with mere pennies on the dollar of what the jobs act is focused on. Yet my amendment were to be considered, in this jobs act, would actually help small businesses directly create jobs. Credit Unions, put simply, specialize in these small, small business loans. In fact, the federal reserve has told us that many banks have quit considering loans like theirs under $200 because they aren't - $200,000 because they're not worth the bank's time. Credit Unions have money to lend to them but, unfortunately, federal law still limits the amount of small business loans a credit union can extend to these businesses to 12% of their assets. Over 500 credit unions nationally have had to stop or slow down their business lending because of this - I can't think of any other word but strange, strange federal limit on helping small businesses. it's hard to believe that. Government is telling these financial institutions that they can't help create jobs in their local communities and that's why my bipartisan amendment would double the amount of money credit unions can offer to small businesses. Now, we've heard from the banks over the years they think it's unfair that they have to compete with credit unions but the fact is it's not about banks or credit unions. It's about small businesses and I have to say that these two different kinds of financial institutions serve very different small business populations. Credit Unions serve the smallest of small businesses who often must resort to their credit cards literally to invest in their businesses, keep their cash flow going but in the process they create jobs and these have been business I'm suggesting that at the very least we let the Credit Unions loan to these small business owners that the banks don't want to do business with because they are too small."