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Small Business Bill Finally Passes

Today, the Senate approved the long-stalled Small Business Jobs Act, a deficit-neutral bill containing tax cuts and an array of other measures to aid businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Its signature component is a $30 billion lending fund, which will encourage small banks to lend to small businesses. The Independent Community Bankers of America said the bill might create 500,000 jobs in two years.

“At a time when small business owners are still struggling to make payroll and they’re still holding off hiring, we put together a plan that would give them some tax relief and make it easier for them to take out loans,” President Obama said, speaking about the bill this week.

Republicans had held the relatively noncontroversial legislation up since July — demanding to propose non-germane amendments, then refusing the closure of a tax loophole for large companies as a pay-for. More recently, Republicans argued that the tax cuts in the bill weren’t big enough. Ultimately, Sens. George Voinovich (Ohio) and George LeMieux (Fla.) crossed the aisle.

The bill passed 61 to 38, and now goes onto the House, which approved similar legislation in June and is expected to pass the bill within the next few working days.

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