With Key GOP Vote Secured, Obama Urges Senate to Pass Small Biz Bill

President Obama today pressed Congress to end a partisan "stand-off" over legislation that aims to help small businesses, which has been held up by Republicans in the Senate.

"I realize there are plenty of issues in Washington where people of good faith simply disagree on principle," Mr. Obama said in a press conference at the White House. "This should not and is not one of those issues."

Months before the midterm elections, Mr. Obama has been pressing a series of new economic proposals to show that Democrats are trying to keep the economy moving forward. There is little hope of passing any of his proposals — except for the small business bill, which won new support from retiring Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Voinovich said he could no longer support GOP efforts to stall the legislation. Republicans have been stalling a vote on the bill, saying they want to offer amendments to it. Yet Voinovich said the amendments "didn't have anything to do with the bill" 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."

The legislation in question would eliminate capital gains taxes for key investments for small businesses, as well as create a $30 billion fund to encourage banks to lend to small business. The bill is deficit-neutral.

"It has been written by Democrats and Republicans. It's a bill that's been praised by the Chamber of Commerce," Mr. Obama said today. "And yet a minority of Republican Senators have been using legislative tactics to prevent the bill from even getting to a vote."

The president said he was pleased to hear that Voinovich will "refuse to support this blockade any longer," and he added that he "could not agree more" with Voinovich's remarks that there's no more time for games.

"This is a bill that traditionally you'd probably get 90 percent or 100 percent Republican support, but we've been playing politics for the last several months," Mr. Obama said.

More from the press conference:

Obama: Economic Recovery 'Painfully Slow'
Obama: "Fair" to Say I Haven't Fostered Cooperation in Washington
Obama on Afghan Corruption and the Hunt for Osama Bin Laden
For Obama, Stimulus is a Four-Letter Word
Elizabeth Warren Gets (Vague) Support From Obama
Austan Goolsbee Tapped As Top Economic Adviser
Obama: Americans Shouldn't Turn on Each Other
Obama on Quran Burning: You "Don't Play Games" with Troop Safety
Obama: It's Not Us Vs. Them -- "It's Just Us"
Obama: We've "Fallen Short" on Closing Gitmo



Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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