The Senate has temporarily extended two provisions included in the Recovery Act that increase government guarantees and eliminate fees on small business loans.
The programs were extended for 30 days. Despite the repeated opposition from one Republican senator, it is good that this vital bill has passed, said Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in a statement. In addition to extending basic benefits for out-of-work families, the bill temporarily extends successful Recovery Act provisions. The increased government guarantees and eliminated fees have worked adding $18.2 billion in lending to more than 40,000 small businesses, and small businesses have reported that the provisions will save or create more than 500,000 jobs. Extending these important provisions is a good first step to providing our small businesses with the tools they need to keep their doors open and grow. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure these programs receive a longer extension.
The Republican senator to whom she referred was Jim Bunning, R-Ken., who blocked legislation for five days extending unemployment benefits and a 65 percent federal subsidy for COBRA health insurance for the unemployed, before relenting on Tuesday evening, under pressure from colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Landrieu, along with the ranking Republican member of her committee, Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, included an extension of the SBA loan provisions as part of S. 2869, The Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act, which passed their committee in December.
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