WASHINGTONv — After an impasse of more than a month, the Senate on Thursday approved a small-business bill that includes measures aimed at boosting access to capital and tax credits to provide temporary financial relief.
Democrats hope the legislation will help show voters they are in control of managing the economic recovery, even though the current employment picture looks grim.
Both parties agree that renewed hiring by small businesses is crucial to any turnaround in the job market. Lawmakers say most job growth comes from small businesses.
The national jobless rate of 9.6% has remained stubbornly high despite repeated attempts by the Obama administration and Congress to foster job creation. This legislation is almost certain to be the last attempt by Democrats to prime the economic pump before the November midterm elections, even though many of the provisions included in the bill are unlikely to be enacted before the Nov. 2 vote.
Senators voted 61-38 Thursday, with two Republicans — Sens. George LeMieux (R., Fla.) and George Voinovich (R., Ohio) — joining every Democrat in voting in favor of the bill.
The House must still vote to approve the bill before it is sent to Mr. Obama for his signature. A senior House Democratic leadership aide said the House is likely to take up the measure next week.