Things got tense during debate in the House on Wednesday, when House Financial Services ranking member Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said it was a “shameful ... cheap maneuver” for House GOP leaders to include a measure introduced last week by Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) in the package. It would allow community banks to avoid registering with the Securities and Exchange Commission and bears a striking similarity to legislation by Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) that the House passed 420-2 in November.
Frank said the bill had been “kidnapped along the way and brought here under another Member.”
Both bills contain identical provisions to increase the number of shareholders that a community bank can have before being required to register with the SEC. But Quayle’s bill does not require a study of the subject.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the policy has bipartisan support regardless of who brings it to the floor.
“President [Ronald] Reagan once said that there is no limit to what the American people can accomplish if we don’t mind who gets the credit,” Hensarling said. “We appear to hear the ranking member say, ‘If I and my friends can’t take credit, we are going to pick up our toys and go home.’ All of us can take credit if we support the JOBS Act.”
Frank fired back. “For the gentleman from Texas, being part of the leadership that engaged in that shameful maneuver, to now accuse us of being excessively concerned with credit is the most hypocritical and dishonest statement I have ever heard uttered in this House,” he said.
Hensarling took umbrage and had the comments struck from the record under House rules regarding inappropriate words.
House Democrats also sought to downplay the significance of the bill’s passage.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that while she supports the measure “it does not really do a great deal to create more jobs, which we need.”
Likewise, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was critical today.
"Instead of working together on a transportation bill, which is one of the biggest jobs initiatives Congress [has], Republicans are once again bringing to the floor some bills that we passed on the floor overwhelmingly," she said at a press conference.
Referring to the package touted by Republicans, Pelosi declared, "They are jobs bill-light."
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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