WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey, D-Pa. and Charles Schumer D.-N.Y., don’t find much to agree on these days, but today they got together to introduce legislation that both says is good for businesses and the economy.
In banter as they walked into the press conference, the pair jovially debated whether they should call it the Schumer-Toomey bill or the Toomey-Schumer bill. The New York senator had the last word: the Toomer bill. Err, tumor? They are, after all, seeking growth – of business, that is.
Under the bill, companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue could go public without having to comply with several cumbersome and costly regulations until they have grown their worth or until they have been pubblicly traded for five years. Those regulations include requirements to hire auditors and to hold stockholder votes on executive compensation.
The aim is to strike a balance between fairness for investors and opportunities for businesses to raise capital, Mr. Schumer said during a press conference in Washington today.
Mr. Toomey said investors are protected by important disclosure requirements that would remain in place.
He said the legislation would allow companies “for a very limited period of time not to have to comply with the full panoply of regulations until they have grown to a point where they can afford it.”
The senators said access to capital is the biggest factor driving economic growth and job creation, and that better access to public equity markets would make a big difference to small and medium-sized companies.
“During difficult times, it is critical that we give growing innovators the breathing room that they need to access public markets,” Mr. Schumer said. “This is a commonsense set of reforms that can bridge the partisan divide and have a real impact on job creation.”
Their proposal would temporarily relax regulations for small and medium-sized companies that want to go public.