Obama calls on lenders to support small businesses
By Michael D. Shear
President Obama capped a week of focusing on small businesses with a radio and Internet address in which he warned against letting mom-and-pop entrepreneurs fail to recover.
"If it's one thing we've learned, it's that here in America, we rise and fall together," Obama said in the address, released for delivery Saturday morning. "Our economy as a whole can't move ahead if small businesses and the middle class continue to fall behind."
The taped address came just days after Obama announced a series of small business incentives and assistance aimed at loosening the flow of credit.
"While credit may be more available for large businesses, too many small business owners are still struggling to get the credit they need," Obama said. "These are the very taxpayers who stood by America's banks in a crisis - and now it's time for our banks to stand by creditworthy small businesses, and make the loans they need to open their doors, grow their operations, and create new jobs."
Republican critics called Obama's proposals this week a repackaging of old ideas that would not do enough to spark a renewal of small businesses that could create millions of jobs.
House minority whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Wednesday called on Obama to do more for the smallest companies. And he condemned the Democratic majority for pursuing tax policy that he said would harm the futures of many small business owners.
"Today, I call on the President to pledge to small business job creators across this nation that he will veto any legislation that will raise their taxes," Cantor said in a statement. "Simply put, Americans don't believe that the Administration has done enough to put Americans back to work, and doing so starts with a commitment to small business."
Even as he focused on helping small business, Obama continued to push for passage of a health-care reform bill by the end of the year. In his address, he said his proposals "will allow small businesses to buy insurance for their employees through an insurance exchange, which may offer better coverage at lower costs."
Republicans continued to push back against Democratic health care plans. In delivering the GOP's radio address, Sen. Mike Johanns (Neb.) argued against the proposals that Obama and the Democrats are pursuing.
"The bottom line is this: we're nearing 10 percent unemployment. We have a record budget deficit, and many families are working hard just to put food on the table and to pay the bills," Johanns said. "Yet, there's no doubt about it: these proposals will negatively impact pocketbooks and paychecks across America."
Johanns added: "President Obama has promised open deliberations in front of C-SPAN cameras for all Americans to learn how reform will impact them. However, a 1,500 page bill, full of carve-outs and backroom deals, is currently being brokered behind closed doors."
October 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama
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