Senate Republicans and Democrats recently have jockeyed back and forth on the fate of a bill that would help community banks lend more to small businesses. Ultimately, Republicans prevented proponents of the bill from getting 60 votes, blocking the legislation. Reuters reported that the block was a “blow to President Barack Obama’s election-year battle to reduce unemployment.” Many Senate Republicans objected to the bill because the Democrats had previously shut down proposed tax breaks for small businesses.
Politicians Split on Issue
It seems that everyone is up in arms over this bill. Small businesses are responsible for the creation of nearly two-thirds of the nation’s new jobs, meaning the proposed package of more access to credit could help businesses succeed and in turn hire more employees. Republicans continue to block the passage of the bill because they feel there are amendments that should be made. The filibuster has delayed any action on the Democrats’ side. Many Democrats believe the Republicans are acting in an adversarial manner and only trying to deny President Barack Obama a legislative success.
The parties’ failure to reach an agreement has generated speculation that this will remain a big issue during the fall campaigns. Republicans see this as the Democrats “indul[ging] in political theater,” according to republican.senate.gov. There are some Republicans that are for putting money into banks to aid small businesses, but they are wary of where the money is coming from and whether it will actually create more jobs as opposed to just creating more debt. Some Republicans believe that Democrats are stalling the bill by adding irrelevant issues. By doing so they are able to sidestep real debate and avoid voting on Republican changes to the bill.
When to Expect a Solution
The Senate is gathering this week to decide whether or not the bill should be passed on to the House of Representatives. Even if the bill finally makes it through the Senate, it will face a delay because the House is currently on a six-week break. Much of the anger is coming from frustrations on both sides. What should have been a high-priority bill has turned into a bill that is stuck in the Senate after seven months of debate.
Small businesses everywhere are feeling pressure to keep their businesses open but are not receiving much support from the government (in the form of tax cuts or loan assistance). It could take as long as Election Day before small businesses see this bill up and running.