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Small-business lending bill advances

Depressing as the 1099 fight was, there is good news out of the Senate today: The small-business lending bill passed the 60-vote hurdle and is now on its way to passage. The legislation includes a $30 billion lending fund, $12 billion in tax breaks, $1.5 billion for state loan programs and sundry other tax tweaks and changes meant to help small businesses get back on their feet.

The crucial 60th vote was provided by Sen. George Voinovich, and his reasons for letting the bill advance tell you a lot about how the Senate is working right now:

In an interview, Voinovich said he could no longer support Republican efforts to delay the measure in hopes of winning the right to offer additional amendments. Most of the proposed GOP amendments "didn't have anything to do with the bill" anyway, Voinovich said, and amounted merely to partisan "messaging."

"We don't have time for messaging," Voinovich said. "We don't have time anymore. This country is really hurting."

By Ezra Klein  |  September 14, 2010; 1:31 PM ET
 
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Next: The state of play on the Bush tax cuts

Comments

Voinovich has always been a disgrace.

The "country is really hurting" precisely because clowns like Voinovich think throwing other people's money around is the way to build a robust economy. From their perches of ignorance and self-idolation, that's how it appears to politicians that businesses succeed, but it isn't, and it never has been.

Darker days are coming.

Posted by: msoja | September 14, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I think most small business owners would have rather repealed the 1099 provision completely than have the tax breaks that were just passed.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 14, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

From jnc4p above "I think most small business owners would have rather repealed the 1099 provision completely than have the tax breaks that were just passed."

Amen to that! What's likely to happen is the "Soviet Syndrome" -- as more laws are passed, more laws are ignored. There simply isn't a way to enforce all of the silly mandates and regulations! As the federal government attempts to implement paper-clip-level regulations, larger issues suffer until the whole federal government first becomes a complete laughingstock and then crumbles in failure.

The 1099 requirements and various other requirements of the PPACA essentially ask citizens to "rat" on other citizens (the PPACA actually includes financial incentives for doing so). Even with the tips, some federal agent has to take action: perhaps the time would be better spent verifying oil rig safety compliance and natural gas line safety compliance, for example.

Posted by: rmgregory | September 14, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"Amen to that! What's likely to happen is the "Soviet Syndrome" -- as more laws are passed, more laws are ignored."

But think of all the jobs that could be created by hiring enough warm bodies to enforce these laws and regulations? Maybe this is the government's plan for full employment.

Posted by: justin84 | September 14, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

justin84, rmgregory:

I assume you're both furious at Republicans for preventing a repeal of that provision (which enjoyed majority support) from even coming up for a vote?

Republicans own the 1099 provision now.

Posted by: lol-lol | September 14, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

@lol-lol"justin84, rmgregory:

I assume you're both furious at Republicans for preventing a repeal of that provision (which enjoyed majority support) from even coming up for a vote?

Republicans own the 1099 provision now."

That dog won't hunt.

1. The Nelson amendment was a modification of the 1099 provision ($5,000 exemption, 25 employees or more), not a straight repeal.

2. The original 1099 provision was an intentional spending offset of the health care bill that I believe passed with 0 Republican votes in either house. The reports of the Democrats being surprised about some of the provisions and having to modify it less than one year after it was passed plays directly into the Republican narrative on the bill

The Democrats would have been better served by proposing a straight up removal of the 1099 provision with no off sets.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 14, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

lol-lol,

jnc4p put it well. The problem was created by the Democrats' health care law which had this time bomb in it, and the Democrats' proposal to deal with the 1099 problem was only a partial fix - the Democrats then failed to support the Republican bill for full repeal.

That being said, Republicans have their own problems, and disappointment in Democratic politicians and their policies should not be taken as blanket support of Republican politicians/policies.

Posted by: justin84 | September 14, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

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