President Barack Obama is going after Senate Republicans who have stymied his proposal to create a $30 billion fund to help unfreeze lending for credit-starved small businesses.Republicans fought back to the accusations claiming that this bill wasn't a Democratic priority anyway and that this bill was just another bailout - an argument that this author believes to be weak. Republicans love small business but when it comes to a bill that contains both liberal and conservative principles, the Republicans balk at the thought of doing something productive before the midterm elections - they use procedure and politics to prevent the Democrats from having any kind of success, which translates to refusing much needed aid to small businesses.
His election-year push for additional job measures suffered a fresh setback this past week when the GOP blocked the small-business plan.
The president used his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday to accuse Republicans of "holding America's small businesses hostage to politics." He said the bill has the support of business groups and contains many ideas favored by both parties.
"Understand, a majority of senators support the plan. It's just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won't even allow it to come up for a vote," Obama said. "That isn't right."
The proposed fund would be available to community banks with less than $10 billion in assets, to help them increase lending to small businesses. The bill would combine the fund with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses.The Republican response to meaningful legislation - claim past legislation hurt small businesses and then walk away.
Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans, helping to loosen tight credit markets. Some Republicans, however, likened it to the unpopular bailout of the financial industry.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky would have none of that talk.You would think that it would benefit Republicans to support the legislation and try to stake a claim on it later, especially when obstructing the legislation could be used as fodder in the upcoming elections...
He said Democrats have put the bill aside six separate times so they could move on to something else. "So from the beginning this bill clearly wasn't a priority to them — until they realized that they didn't have anything to talk about when they go home in August," McConnell said.
"Nearly every major piece of legislation this Congress has considered has had painful consequences for small businesses. Attempting to create a controversy isnt going to hide that from anyone," he said.