The House has passed a bill to examine the impact of the bank bailout on lending to small businesses.
The bill, authored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., requires the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program to examine the availability of funds to smaller financial institutions and the effect TARP funding is having on small businesses. The bill, the Special Inspector General Small Business Awareness Act (H.R. 3179), passed unanimously by a voice vote.
The bill aims to strengthen the opportunities for small business to access the credit needed to create jobs.The road to economic recovery is going to be led by small business, yet Ive heard time and time again about the challenges our small businesses face in accessing capital and credit, Paulsen said in a statement. Rather than adhering to a too big to fail mentality, this bill seeks to strengthen our small businesses by examining their opportunities to access needed credit. By doing so, we will increase job growth, which will ultimately lead to a quicker economic recovery.
The key provision of Paulsens bill ensures the Special Inspector Generals regular reports to Congress include an examination of how smaller financial institutions such as community banks are faring under the TARP plan, including their ability to access funding in order to provide credit to small businesses.
The bill would also direct the SIG to include the impact on small businesses in audits and oversight of TARP spending, while asking the SIG to give the Congress and the U.S. Treasury direct recommendations on how to improve the TARP program in order to create jobs. This bill also contains a specific provision directing the SIG to look at the impact on both women-owned and minority-owned small businesses.
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