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Obama renews call for passage of jobs bill

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Obama: No time for political games
  • NEW: Senate Republican leader complains Democrats are preventing GOP amendments
  • President says blocking of vote in Senate due to politics, not policy differences
  • Bill would create $30 billion lending fund for community banks
  • Bill also would provide $12 billion in tax breaks for small businesses

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama on Thursday renewed his call for Senate Republicans to stop blocking a jobs bill intended to help small businesses.

Just before leaving for vacation, Obama told reporters at the White House that political gamesmanship instead of legitimate policy differences is stalling the bill.

He noted that the legislative process includes "times when good people differ in good faith."

"This is not one of those times," Obama said, adding that Republicans drafted parts of the legislation now being filibustered by Senate Republicans to prevent a vote.

Video: Democrats fight for their jobs

Obama said the bill will come up first when the Senate returns from its August recess, and he called for the Senate Republican leadership to halt efforts to stop it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, complained in a statement issued before the chamber recessed that Democrats were preventing votes on Republican amendments to the bill.

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.