Comments On The President’s Proposal During A Visit To New Hampshire For A New Small Business Lending Fund

[In Nashua, N.H., President Obama Tuesday asked Congress to create a new Small Business Lending Fund.  Under his proposal, $30 billion in TARP funds (Troubled Asset Relief Program, enacted by Congress and the Bush Administration late in 2008), would be transferred, through new legislation, to a new program outside of TARP to support small business lending.  This new program complements other SBA lending initiatives the President has already announced – including support for higher SBA loan limits and extending Recovery Act provisions for higher loan guarantees and temporary fee eliminations – as well as additional tax cuts to encourage small businesses to invest, hire and raise their workers’ salaries.  Senator Patrick Leahy’s comments on the President’s plan follow:] 

“I strongly support the President’s plan to help small businesses find the affordable capital they need to grow and hire.   More than a year after the financial freeze that imperiled the economy, many small businesses are still struggling to find the working capital they need to invest in new jobs and new markets.  The TARP loans were used to keep the biggest firms in our financial system from collapsing and bringing down our entire economy.  It is fitting to reclaim these funds from Wall Street and shift them to Main Street to help ease the small business credit crunch that is holding back the recovery.  Recycling this lending capital will give these funds a second life in helping small businesses take the recovery to a higher level.   Small businesses are the backbone of Vermont’s economy and the engine of our national economic recovery.  Congress should listen to small businesses’ warnings about this credit squeeze, and Congress should work with the President to enact this small business credit relief without obstruction or delay.” 

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