‘It’s so meager,” proclaimed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on March 9, the day after the House passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, a bill to reduce regulations on businesses that raise capital. Though Pelosi had voted for the bill, as had 157 other Democrats and all the Republicans who were present, she belittled the accomplishment as a “little king” and at most a “jobs bill lite.” A few days later, the bill — which also garnered the support of such staunch liberals as Barney Frank (D., Mass.) and Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), and was supported by the Obama administration — suddenly became “radical.”
“Democrats have belatedly woken up to the act’s radicalism,” stated The Economist. The usual suspects who treat regulation as religion — the AFL-CIO, the New York Times editorial page, etc. — came out in full force against the bill. When the bill came before the Senate, Jack Reed (D., R.I.), Carl Levin (D., Mich.), and Mary Landrieu (D., La.) spearheaded an amendment that would have weakened or gutted every measure of regulatory relief in the House bill. The amendment got the vote of every Senate Democrat and Senator Scott Brown (R., Mass.), but fell short of the 60 votes it needed to move forward. Eventually, 25 Democrats — nearly half of the party’s Senate caucus — joined the unanimous Republicans to pass a bill that contained almost all the provisions of the House version.
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