News / USA

Obama Accuses Republicans of Blocking Aid for Small Businesses

President Obama records his weekly address, 30 Jul 2009
President Obama records his weekly address, 30 Jul 2009
Nico Colombant

President Barack Obama has lashed out at opposition Republicans for blocking government efforts to bring new aid to small businesses.

In his weekly address, President Obama accused Republicans of using parliamentary procedures to block a proposed $30 billion government fund to help small businesses.

"That is not right," said President Obama.  "And I am calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America's small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill.  At a time when America is just starting to move forward again, we cannot afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward."

The House passed its version of the bill in June, but has just started a six-week break.  This means the bill, even if it passes through the Senate, will not be able to make it to Mr. Obama's desk for his signature until late September.

Senate Republican leaders have blocked the initiative on the Senate floor amid concerns it would add to the growing national debt.

In his party's weekly message, Republican Senator Mike Johanns from Nebraska rails against Mr. Obama, saying his policies create more paperwork and higher costs for businesses to operate.

"A leader needs to pull people together," said Senator Johanns.  "You talk about creating jobs and that sounds good, but your policies just do the opposite, with a fiercely anti-business tone."

The debate over small businesses takes place against the backdrop of unemployment rates at more than nine percent.  Jobs figure to be one of the main issues the minority Republicans will campaign on as they try to gain seats in congressional elections in November.

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