Republicans Blocked Bill to Aid Small Businesses

Congressional Democrats started the year in 2010 with ambitious plans to pass a series of bills designed to help small businesses create jobs.

Senate Republicans blocked a bill to increase small business lending, dealing a setback to President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda.

The bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets.

Obama lobbied for the small business lending bill during a trip Wednesday to Edison, N.J. But Senate Democrats fell short of the necessary 60 votes Thursday to end a Republican filibuster.

The vote was 58 to 42, with all 41 Republicans voting to continue the filibuster.

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