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Obama implores Senate to take up jobs bill first after recess

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The president calls for Senate Republicans to allow a vote on the bill
  • NEW: Obama says the jobs will help small businesses
  • Round-table discussion with small-business owners focuses on creating jobs
  • Three small-business owners join the discussion

Seattle, Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday renewed his call for the U.S. Senate to pass a jobs bill aimed at helping small businesses.

Senate Republicans have filibustered the bill that would provide tax breaks for small businesses and expand available capital to them through local banks.

Obama insisted the Senate would take up the bill again immediately after returning from its August recess.

The measure would provide immediate help to small-business owners, who are the backbone of the U.S. economy, Obama said.

"They are who this bill is for," he said of Seattle-area small-business owners who flanked him. "They will see the benefits right away."

The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act stalled in the Senate would authorize the creation of a $30 billion lending fund. The Treasury Department would run the program, which would deliver ultra-cheap capital to community banks, defined as those with less than $10 billion in total assets.

Other key components of the bill would provide $12 billion worth of tax relief for small businesses between 2010 and 2020, according to a preliminary estimate from the Joint Committee on Taxation. The bill also would increase Small Business Administration loan limits and extend loan sweeteners through the end of the year.

It would offer a slew of tax cuts for small businesses to encourage both investment and entrepreneurship. And the legislation would provide $1.5 billion in grants to state lending programs that can't turn to empty state coffers for more cash.

Before his remarks to reporters, Obama held a round-table discussion with the business owners -- an innkeeper, a baker and a pizza maker.

The president cited how each has been helped by his administration's policies intended to spur recovery from the recession.