Obama Urges Senate Action on Small-Business Jobs Bill

Posted July 23, 2010 at 1:04pm

Updated: 3:58 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Friday warned Senate Republicans against holding up small-business jobs legislation, which he wants on his desk by the end of next week.

During remarks at the White House, Obama touted the progress that Democrats made this week on three fronts aimed at boosting the economy: passing the financial reform bill, cracking down on government waste and extending unemployment insurance benefits. “Taken together, we made enormous progress this week,” he said.

But more must be done to spur job growth, the president said, and the next step is for the Senate to act on legislation aimed at increasing small-business lending, a proposal that Obama speculated may be susceptible to delays by Senate Republicans.

“It’s so important for the Senate to pass the additional steps that I’ve asked for to cut taxes and expand lending for America’s small businesses, our most important engine for hiring and for growth. And a small-business jobs bill that contains these measures may come up for a final vote in the Senate in the next few days,” he said.

Obama urged an end to “partisan wrangling” in the Senate and reminded lawmakers in both parties why they were elected.

Small-businesses owners “didn’t send us here to wage a never-ending campaign. They didn’t send us here to do what’s best for our political party. … They sent us here to govern. And that’s what I hope we will do in the remaining days before the Congress takes its August recess,” he said.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the biggest problem facing banks and small businesses is the new financial reform law.

“The government is threatening [banks] with a 2,300-page bill full of new rules and regulations while their customers — small businesses — are threatened by pending tax hikes and more government intrusion,” McConnell said.