April 25, 2007

Dodd-Shelby Amendment Passes – Supports Investor Protections and SEC Efforts to Ease Burden on Small Business

Washington, D.C. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, along with Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) yesterday introduced an amendment to S. 761, the America Competes Bill. The Dodd-Shelby amendment passed by a vote of 97 to 0. The Amendment expresses the sense of the Senate that small businesses play a critical role in the economy, and that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) should implement Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley law in a manner that limits the burdens placed on small and mid-size public companies. The Senate also supported Senator Dodd’s and Senator Shelby’s motion to table an amendment offered by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC). The DeMint amendment would have reduced investor protections by exempting over 70% of companies from key parts of the Sarbanes-Oxley law. This amendment was tabled on a bipartisan vote of 62-35. “By these two votes, the Senate made a strong statement in two respects: first, that it will continue to protect investors when they invest their hard-earned money in public companies; and second, that it supports efforts currently underway to ensure that small and mid-size businesses are not unduly burdened by rules intended to protect investors. The Senate rejected an approach that would weaken investor protections and make it more likely for investors to be harmed by the malfeasance that caused the collapse of Enron and WorldCom. So this was a good day both for America’s investors and for America’s small and mid-size businesses,” said Dodd.