Struggling East Tennessee businesses should send Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich a thank-you note for providing the crucial 60th vote for a bill that will deliver $30 billion in credit and $12 billion in tax breaks to small businesses.
And while they’re at it, business owners should send lumps of coal to Tennessee senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republicans have toed the party line and helped hold the much-need bill hostage to filibuster.
President Obama on Monday urged the Republicans to support passage of a small business aid package ASAP when they get back to Washington after Labor Day.
So far, Republicans have threatened a filibuster and otherwise kept the package of small biz tax cuts and financial aid from being considered. Kind of bizarre when you consider small business is generally considered a loyal supporter of the Republican Party.
Here’s hoping Tennessee Republicans Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander will break with the party and help small business.
UPDATE: Politics rears its head, small business loses.
Republicans block small business lending bill
The National Small Business Association’s mid-year economic report doesn’t offer much encouragement to those looking for reasons to be optimistic about the economy.
But the report offers the best argument yet for passage of the $30 billion small business lending program being considered by the Senate.
Passage looked pretty dicey earlier this week, but a bill that would increase lending to small businesses cleared the filibuster hurdle late Thursday.
Two Republicans joined the Democrats in a 60-37 vote.
Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker voted against the bill. I doubt if they will support the bill when it comes up for a final vote, but they should.
Although the bill is imperfect, it would provide $30 billion in desperately needed capital to small businesses.
It looks like the Republicans finally grew tired of being on the wrong side of public opinion. Some sort of financial regulation reform is likely now that the GOP has given up on a filibuster.
The next question is will the Democrats produce a bill that actually works.
Here’s more perspective.
Fox Business News: US Senate clears hurdle on financial-overhaul bill
CNN: GOP ends filibuster blocking financial reform debate
The New York Times: Republicans Allow Debate on Financial Overhaul