Politics in the way of push to help small businesses

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Partisan bickering in the U.S. Senate about a bill designed to offer help to small business is beyond frustrating at a time when companies that could benefit are living on the edge.

The $30 billion bill is modest in size and mostly offers tax cuts and the creation of a new fund that would allow small banks to extend more loans to small companies stifled by a credit freeze. …

It has wide support on both sides of the aisle, but Senate leaders are about to shelve the whole thing over inane disputes such as how many amendments are allowed.

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Democrats say that many of the bill’s existing provisions were actually authored by Republicans, who tend to favor tax cuts and programs that support business. But Republicans object to some of the bill’s spending.

On that, though, the Congressional Budget Office says the bill would not add to the deficit because of revenue generated by closing tax loopholes for foreign companies.

Republicans are blocking it by threatening a filibuster. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, supported the spending as recently as last month, but so far is honoring the call for a filibuster. Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown backs the program.

It’s time for both sides to come together and move the bill to a vote. …

The Senate isn’t helping the tentative recovery.