Legislation to help startup companies raise capital by reducing some federal regulations has easily passed the Senate despite warnings from some Democrats that less government oversight would mean more abuse and scams.
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President Barack Obama supports the measure, which stands to be one of few bipartisan bills to pass Congress during this politically contentious election year.
Democrats pushed through an amendment designed to increase investor protections, so the legislation will still require either another House vote or House-Senate negotiations. The House passed the measure two weeks ago on a 390-23 vote. All 26 negative votes in the Senate came from Democrats.
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The legislation combines six smaller bills that change Securities and Exchange Commission rules so small businesses can attract investors and go public with less red tape and cost.