WASHINGTON: The Senate has advanced a bill to create a $30 billion government fund to help open lending for credit-starved small businesses, handing President Barack Obama a long-sought victory.
Democrats beat back a GOP filibuster of the measure with crucial help from Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich. The 61-37 tally sets the stage for a final vote later this week to return the measure to the House, which is likely to approve it for Obama's signature.
The new fund would help community banks increase lending to small businesses hurt by the recession and the 2008 Wall Street crisis. The bill would also provide about $12 billion in tax breaks over a decade to both large and small businesses.