| WASHINGTON, March 9
WASHINGTON, March 9 A U.S. Senate panel on
Thursday is poised to approve with bipartisan support a raft of
bills aimed at spurring capital formation, marking its first
step this year toward modernizing market rules that critics have
said are outdated and get in the way of business expansion and
The move is part of Congress' ongoing efforts to streamline
the U.S. financial sector and is largely separate from U.S.
President Donald Trump's push to repeal or replace regulations
he says could impede economic growth.
The Senate Banking Committee, led by Chairman Mike Crapo,
is slated to send to the Senate floor five bills, with some
Democrats expected to join with their Republican colleagues to
vote for and co-sponsor several of the measures.
The bills would make a variety of changes to the Securities
and Exchange Commission's regulations, such as raise the dollar
amount of stock options that private companies can award
employees in a given year from $5 million to $10 million, and
ease restrictions to allow brokers to publish research on the
global $3.7 trillion exchange-traded fund market.
They would also boost the number of people that can invest
in venture capital funds without triggering certain federal
rules, subject mutual funds in Puerto Rico to the same rules
that funds already face on the U.S. mainland and credit stock
exchanges back money for any fees and assessments they may have
overpaid to the SEC in the last decade.
The hearing will mark the first time since the November
election that the Republican-led Senate Banking Committee has
convened to consider financial legislation.
The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services
Committee, meanwhile, is also gearing up to boost
capital-raising via a more comprehensive rewrite of the 2010
Dodd Frank financial reform legislation.
Trump's choice to lead the SEC, Wall Street deal making
attorney Jay Clayton, has previously privately discussed ideas
with Trump on how to help spur capital formation.
All of the bills slated for consideration by the panel on
Thursday have been considered in prior congressional years, but
never passed into law.
Some of the bills also have companions introduced in the
House this year.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Andrew Hay)