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Republican Committee Leaders Take on Coronavirus Impact with Innovative Solutions


Republican Committee Leaders Take on Coronavirus Impact with Innovative Solutions




Washington,
March 12, 2020 
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Today, Republican leaders of the House Financial Services Committee introduced eight bills in the ongoing effort to combat the economic and public health impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) through innovation and technology solutions. In response to President Trump’s call for a whole-of-government approach, Republicans are proposing these first steps to help businesses of all sizes, employees, and American consumers in the midst of this public health crisis.

“We can’t take on a new threat with old tactics,” said Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10). “We need whole-of-government solutions that embrace our technological capabilities and support what separates our nation from the rest—our small businesses, innovators, and entrepreneurs. By making small regulatory changes we can unleash the power of our private sector, providing support to job creators and American consumers in this uncertain time. We need to take a 21st century approach to combatting the impacts of a public health crisis in our modern world and these bills are a good start. I am hopeful Committee Democrats will work with us to move these swiftly through the Committee and to the House floor for a vote.”

The Crowdfunding to Combat the Coronavirus Act

Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill creates a $1 billion prize for creating a COVID-19 vaccine that must be affordable and widely available. Additionally, it eliminates offering ceilings in Regulation Crowdfunding, Reg. A, and Reg. A+ for startups and small businesses working to combat COVID-19, providing support for job creators while encouraging medical innovation that could save lives.

The Relief for Small Businesses Through Micro-Offerings Act

Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill would create a new micro-offerings exemption to allow broader access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses. This provides necessary support to concerned job creators whose workforce or product may be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and any shortage in traditional bank lending. Micro-lending has a demonstrated track record for providing much-needed capital to entrepreneurs—often women and minorities—in underbanked communities, helping them start and grow their businesses.

The Touchless Transactions Act

Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, French Hill (AR-2), this bill would establish that any swipe, dip, or tap transaction at a merchant point of sale terminal would not trigger a signature requirement. Thanks to innovation in credit and debit transaction verification, signatures for such transactions are no longer necessary and eliminating the practice can cut down on the spread of the virus.

The Gig Economy Infrastructure Act

Introduced by Ranking Republican Patrick McHenry (NC-10), this bill expands the category of workers that can be compensated with equity compensation to gig workers. Gig workers can be food delivery couriers, contract workers, or rideshare drivers, just to name a few, and are critical in our technology driven world. This bill provides support to these workers and ensures they can continue to serve our communities in this environment.

The SEC Relief to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus Act

Introduced by Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, Bill Huizenga (MI-2), this bill would remove requirements for in-person meetings and hand-delivery of certain SEC-required documents. This will allow for minimization of face-to-face contact based on regulatory requirements of the federal securities laws.

The Insured Depository Institution Business Continuity Planning Act

Introduced by Vice Ranking Republican, Ann Wagner (MO-2), this bill would provide federal banking regulators with the authority to promulgate safety and soundness standards for business continuity planning and management.

The Coronavirus Guidance for Financial Institutions Act

Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance, Steve Stivers (OH-15), this bill supports the Trump Administration’s efforts to encourage financial institutions to work with consumers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. This would also require regulators to issue a report to inform Congress and the American people on the effectiveness of the directive.

The Coronavirus Accounting Relief Act

Introduced by the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3), this bill would delay the implementation of an ill-advised accounting standard, the Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL), that forces institutions to increase credit losses and decrease lending at the most inopportune time. Delaying the implementation of CECL will free up billions of dollars for financial institutions to lend to small business and consumers in need.

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