President Barack Obama will sign the JOBS Act into law Thursday, clinching a rare and hard-fought bipartisan victory for his presidency. But to secure the legislative win, he had to pick sides in a simmering feud between interest groups aligned with the Democratic Party. One side of the fight -- the tech industry and venture capital allies -- is all smiles. But the other side -- organized labor -- is seething.
The flashpoint for this Democratic Party conflict -- the JOBS Act -- is the brainchild of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, a 27-member group that the president stacked with 19 corporate chairmen and CEOs in an effort, say labor leaders and others, to curry favor with America’s executive class.
But for all of the maneuvering, the JOBS Act is unlikely to deliver much in the way of job growth, according to economists and consumer advocates, who warn that the bill opens the door to a new wave of conflicts of interest and possible financial fraud on Wall Street.
Tech companies and their venture capital backers, angered by a bipartisan push for Internet anti-piracy legislation known as SOPA, are key beneficiaries of the JOBS Act -- a fact not lost on Democratic leaders. Rapid-fire public stock offerings and free-wheeling funding are the lifeblood of the Silicon Valley landscape, and the JOBS Act promises to make it easier for financiers and their clients in the technology industry to raise money for their companies' operations.
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