Voinovich a Yes on Small Business, Giving It the Votes For Passage
Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has decided to vote yes for the small-business bill, a deficit-neutral package of tax breaks that has been held up for months in the Senate. With Voinovich willing to cross the aisle, Democrats have the 60 votes necessary to defeat a Republican filibuster and can move the bill to final passage. The Washington Post reports:
In an interview, Voinovich said he could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments “didn’t have anything to do with the bill” anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan “messaging.”
“We don’t have time for messaging,” Voinovich said. “We don’t have time anymore. This country is really hurting.”
Voinovich said he told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that, if a single amendment to reduce paperwork for business owners is considered on the floor, he would add his vote to that of the 59 senators who caucus with Democrats. That would give the majority party the 60 votes needed to overcome a possible GOP filibuster and approve the package when Congress returns to Washington next week.
The paid-for $55 billion bill offers $12 billion in tax breaks and creates a $30 billion fund to encourage small banks to lend to small businesses via the Small Business Administration. The Independent Community Bankers of America said the bill would create 500,000 jobs in two years.
Recently, President Barack Obama has hit at Republicans for blocking the legislation, which might create up to $300 billion in loans to small firms. “Simply put: holding this bill hostage is directly detrimental to our economic growth,” he said last month. “I ask Senate Republicans to drop the blockade. I know we’re entering election season. But the people who sent us here expect us to work together to get things done and improve this economy.”