The Senate advanced a $42 billion small business bill Tuesday, in a key test vote of 61 to 37, priming the bill for passage in a final vote later this week.
The bill, should it pass, would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses. The lending fund is combined with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at these businesses.
While both parties agreed on the nuts and bolts of the bill, all 41 Senate Republicans filibustered the bill when it first reached the Senate floor in August. The filibuster came after Democrats refused to add amendments that, among other things, would add measures to increase border security, impose a government spending cap and lower the estate tax.
In Tuesday’s vote, Senators George Voinovich (R- Ohio) and George LeMieux (R-Florida) broke with their party to end the Republican filibuster.
The bill already passed the House of Representative in June. However, should the bill receive final Senate approval, the House would have to vote on the measure again before it could be signed into law by President Obama.
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