WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- President Obama said the passage of jobs legislation in the U.S. Senate was a bipartisan step forward in getting the economy back on track.
The Senate voted 73-26 Thursday in favor of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which primarily eases federal regulations and makes it easier for small businesses and startups to raise money.
"The president is grateful that the Senate acted in a bipartisan way to move forward key ideas the president proposed last fall that will help our small businesses and startups access capital they need to grow and create jobs," the White House said in a written statement.
The JOBS Act was passed by the House two weeks ago, but since the Senate made changes to it, it will have to pass through the House once more before being signed by Obama.
The key change in the Senate applies to so-called crowdfunding, in which large groups of people chip in relatively small amounts of money to get a new enterprise off the ground. The Senate added a bipartisan amendment that bolsters oversight of such fundraising, Politico said.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said unregulated crowdfunding plans were "a path to predatory scams."
Obama said he was happy with the amendment.
"We are heartened by the important investor protections added to the crowdfunding provision and will be vigilant in monitoring this and other elements to ensure the overall bill achieves its goal of helping entrepreneurs while maintaining protections for investors," the White House statement said.