WASHINGTON — A bill that would relax federal regulations on small businesses looking to raise investment cash cleared Congress on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — A bill that would relax federal regulations on small businesses looking to raise investment cash cleared Congress on Tuesday.

The bill, which was backed by the entire Arkansas delegation, now goes to the White House where President Obama is expected to sign it into law.

“This legislation will help America’s small businesses continue to lead our economic recovery by cutting through some of the red tape and easing the burden of over regulation,” said Rep. Mike Ross, D-Prescott.

The bill was initially approved by the House three weeks ago but was amended last week in the Senate.

The House on Tuesday voted 380-41 to accept the revised Senate bill. House opposition to the bill came from Democrats concerned that relaxing regulations would weaken protections for small investors.

One provision of particular interest to Arkansas lawmakers would increase the number of shareholders allowed to invest in community banks from 500 to 2,000.

Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, and Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and John Boozman, R-Ark., had co-sponsored bills earlier in the year to assist community banks looking to expand.

“Updating these threshold numbers removes a major roadblock to their growth,” Pryor said in a press statement issued last week after the Senate approved the bill, 73-26.

Pryor’s press release also included a comment from Scott Grigsby, executive vice president and regional manager of Arvest Bank, expressing the Bentonville-based bank’s appreciation.

“This effort was long overdue to help relieve an outdated regulation,” Grigsby said.