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Small businesses are a focus of political parties

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As the November congressional election approaches, Democrats and Republicans are pushing to prove their support for U.S. small-business owners, who have become a focus of campaigns, according to The Washington Post.

Obama has scolded Republicans for blocking his measure to give community banks access to a $30 billion government fund to encourage them to increase lending to small businesses. The bill also would bolster state lending programs and provide various tax credits to small businesses while excluding some small-business stock sales from capital gains taxes.

"Helping small businesses, cutting taxes, making credit available," Obama says. "This is as American as apple pie. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. They are central to our identity as a nation. They are going to lead this recovery."

Republicans are criticizing Democrats' agenda, saying the health care act, recent financial regulation overhaul and plans to allow tax breaks to expire for the wealthy in January 2011 will hurt small businesses and slow job creation. They are angling for business benefits such as repealing a new IRS reporting requirement included in Obama's health care act and extending a long-standing tax break for research and development that expired in January.

"They've hit small business with a sledgehammer and now they're going to go around and say they’re picking up some of the pieces," says Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.).

Senate leaders failed again late Wednesday to move the small-business initiative forward, making it unlikely the bill will be sent to the White House before the House adjourns for the summer.

"Both parties claim to be friends of small business," Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says. But "this is the proverbial stall we've had all year."


7/30/2010

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