President Obama encouraged Congress to act on a package of legislative proposals to expand tax breaks and financing for startups and small businesses.

Speaking before a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Obama noted that it is important to spur entrepreneurship and help startups to move aggressively so they can create more jobs.

“I mentioned at the State of the Union that there have been discussions, bipartisan discussions between Republicans and Democrats, about a whole set of measures that can accelerate financing to startup companies; can provide tax breaks to startups and small businesses that are interested in either hiring more workers or increasing their wages; that looks at innovative ways for them to raise capital,” he said. “And my expectation and hope is, is that they will get a bill together quickly, that they will pass it and get it on my desk. I will sign it right away, and I would like to see that bill signed this year.”

Among the tax initiatives the administration has been promoting are permanently eliminating capital gains taxes on small business investments and extending for another year 100 percent bonus depreciation, so businesses could deduct the full costs of investment in new equipment. Obama also wants to make it easier for small businesses to go public without as many burdensome regulations, and provide a 10 percent tax credit for small businesses that add more jobs or boost wages this year. He has also proposed expanding a government-run small business investment program to $4 billion from $3 billion. Obama also wants to permanently double the amount of startup expenses entrepreneurs can deduct from their taxes, from $5,000 to $10,000.

At the Cabinet meeting, Obama said he planned to discuss how the Department of Homeland Security could improve the visa process for those who are interested in investing in the United States and starting businesses in the U.S. He also noted that the Departments of Commerce, Energy, and Education, along with the Small Business Administration, are all launching initiatives to support entrepreneurship. 

“What we want to do is to make sure that every single agency, even as they’re tending to their energy initiatives or providing homeland security or transportation or defense, that we’re also thinking about how are we advancing the cause of giving small businesses and entrepreneurs opportunities to start creating the next Google or the next Apple or the next innovative company that’s going to create jobs and improve our economy,” he said.

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