Washington, D.C. - On the heels of last Friday's Housepassage of a sweeping regulatory reform bill, President Obama urged thenation's financial firms to increase lending - particularly to thesmall-business sector.

In a meeting at the White House with the heads of anumber of the nation's largest banks, the president maintained that banks havea greater obligation to help the economy rebound because of the billions intaxpayer bailout money they've received.

Last week, leaders of the Senate Committee on SmallBusiness and Entrepreneurship introduced legislation to provide more capitalfor small businesses by expanding SMA lending limits.

Committee chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and ranking memberOlympia Snowe, R-Maine, unveiled S. 2869, the "Small Business Job Creationand Access to Capital Act of 2009." The bill would increase the limit forSmall Business Administration-guaranteed loans to as high as $5.5 million andextend for a year the fee eliminations and increased guarantee set to expireunder the Recovery Act.


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