The measure now returns to the House, which is expected next week to pass the bill and send it to President Obama, who supports the legislation.
The bipartisan support for the legislation reflects the desire of both parties to show voters that they are trying to bolster the economy.Â Republicans, in particular, have insisted that the Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups, or JOBS, Act would help smaller companies expand and lead to job growth.
House Majority LeaderÂ Eric CantorÂ (R-Va.) said the bill would “create jobs right away.”
But many economists are skeptical that the legislation will create many jobs.
The bill aims to help smaller businesses attract investment capital by loosening regulations, some stemming from the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that critics have called onerous and costly.
One provision in the legislation would make it easier for businesses to launch initial public offerings by phasing in federal reporting requirements over five years, or when the company reaches more than $1 billion in annual revenue.
“We will rue the day we rammed this through the House and Senate,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat, who broke with party leadership in voting against the bill.