Voinovich Offers Conditional Support for Small-Business Bill

Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:34pm

Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he has committed to helping Democrats pass a package of small-business incentives if an amendment is considered on the floor, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Voinovich wants the Senate to consider an amendment to reduce paperwork for business owners. He said he told Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that he would vote with the 59 Senators who caucus with the Democrats if the amendment is brought up. Sixty votes would overcome a possible GOP filibuster of the bill.

Republicans are hoping to offer more amendments, but Voinovich said most of the GOP proposals “didn’t have anything to do with the bill.”

“We don’t have time for messaging,” Voinovich told the Post. “We don’t have time anymore. This country is really hurting.”

The package includes tax breaks and a loan fund to encourage community banks to lend to small businesses. A shortage of credit has hurt business owners in Ohio, Voinovich said.

The Senate plans to bring up the package next week, when it returns from the August recess.