Legislation sponsored by Steil, Hill passes House Financial Services Committee

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee on April 26 marked up several bills designed to strengthen public markets, including two each from U.S. Reps. Bryan Steil (R-WI) and French Hill (R-AR), and included them in a broader legislative package.

The four bills are included in the Expanding Access to Capital Act of 2023, H.R. 2799, a comprehensive bill to reform the capital markets of the United States. Included in the 40-page bill introduced on April 24 by U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) are:

  • The bipartisan Fair Investment Opportunities for Professional Experts Act, H.R. 835, sponsored on Feb. 6 by Rep. Hill to expand the definition of an accredited investor to include individuals who have demonstrated an understanding of the subject matter related to the offering. The bill also provides additional investment opportunities for more Americans, and enhances the ability of small businesses to raise capital and grow, according to a summary of Rep. Hill’s legislation provided by his staff.
  • The Remove Aberrations in the Market CAP Test for Target Company Financial Statements Act, which Rep. Hill sponsored to clarify that a company’s market capitalization may include the value of all the acquirer’s outstanding classes of stock, including preferred stock and non-traded common shares that are convertible into or exchangeable for traded common shares (based on trading value, conversion value or exchange value, as applicable), the summary says.

“I am pleased to see my two bills that make common-sense changes to the definition of an accredited investor and clarify the true value of a company’s market capitalization reported out of committee yesterday,” Rep. Hill said on April 27. “Small businesses are the backbone of America and must have fair access to capital to flourish. These bills will expand capital formation and are one step closer to reaching the House floor.”

  • H.R. 2625, which Rep. Steil sponsored on April 13, would make it easier for more small public companies to raise money in the public markets by lowering the aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity necessary for an issuer to qualify as a well-known seasoned issuer, according to the congressional record bill summary. 
  • Rep. Steil’s second bill, the Helping Startups Continue to Grow Act, H.R. 2624, which the congressman also sponsored on April 13, would “right-size burdensome reporting requirements for startups,” allowing them to focus their resources on job creation and innovation, says a bill summary provided by the lawmaker’s office.

“Right-sizing regulations for new entrepreneurs is a simple step Congress can take to spur economic growth,” said Rep. Steil. “My bills will increase investment in the United States and create jobs by helping more companies go public. I look forward to bringing these bills to the floor.”

The larger bill, H.R. 2799, now heads to the full chamber for action.