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Small Businesses Put a Hold On Hiring, Wait Out a GOP Filibuster

August 31, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Economist Susan Woodward considers August to be, typically, “a month of unambiguous employment growth.” But according to a report released today that she helped to put together with Intuit Inc., small businesses in August, though still hiring, are adding new employees at the slowest rate since January. According to the report, the number of jobs created in August is only one-third of how many were created in April.

Why the downturn? One possibility is that small business owners have put hiring and expansion on hold while they wait for the Senate to break a Republican filibuster and pass the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010.

USA Today reports:

Small businesses have put hiring, supply buying and real estate expansion on hold as they wait out the vote on a small-business-aid bill that stalled in the Senate earlier this summer.

The much-debated legislation offers tax breaks and waived loan fees. But it also comes with more divisive components, such as a $30 billion fund that would help community banks give loans to small businesses. Opponents say the fund would be a mini version of the often-criticized TARP large-bank bailout program.

Many small businesses had hoped the legislation would pass the Senate by the end of July. With two weeks left until Congress reconvenes, those firms are in a holding pattern.

“I’m still waiting for Congress to sign off on the bill,” says Amarjit Kaur, who runs a convenience store and gas station in Wood Village, Ore. She leases her property but has a chance to buy it. With the waived-fee provision, Kaur says she could save about $35,000 on her pending loan.

Kaur’s is among about 1,000 other small businesses that “have their bank papers all done and will be funded in the days — moments — after the bill passes,” says U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills.

In other words, the Republicans’ filibustering has managed to make small-business hiring weaker than it would be if the Democrats had never tried to enact a bill to spur it. Hardball indeed.

The House managed to pass the bill in June by a vote of 241-182, but is has been stuck in the Senate ever since. Right before they left for the August recess — one month after beginning debate of the bill — Senate Dems held a cloture vote to try to break the Republican filibuster. They failed, 58-42. Sixty votes were needed. Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] broke rank and voted along with every single Republican against the bill.

President Obama yesterday called once again for Republicans relent and let the bill through. “I ask Senate Republicans to drop the blockade,” Obama said. The bill is expected to be a top item on the Senate calendar when they return from recess on September 13th.

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  • Moderated Comment

  • DeborahJBrown 09/01/2010 3:43am

    Small businesses, large businesses, state local and government have limited hiring or hiring freezes and the GOP chants that 99 weeks of unemployment is enough! Those who have been unemployed for 99 weeks or more agree that 99 weeks of hiring freezes, limited hiring and no jobs to replace the ones taken away most definitely is way too long! Democrats have acted in a responsible and humane manner fighting to extend unemployment benefits. They acknowledge knowledge of hiring freezes, limited hiring and no new jobs. What about the GOP? They’ve spent this entire time trying to pass the buck, blaming America’s workers. GOP practically “owns” big business! The GOP are greedy cowards at best and their filibuster games WILL come back to haunt them. Millions of people remain out of work and failing to replenish the jobs taken away or aiding in the survival of affected families will not result in erasing “less important” Americans as GOP hopes. It will only make America divided. Divided we FALL!

  • Comm_reply
    Abaratarrr 09/01/2010 4:55pm

    the person that said “99 weeks is enough” was Max Baucus he is not a republican

  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 09/02/2010 12:50am

    Good cop, Bad cop, they dish it out, it`s just rehearsed rhetoric and sophistry, Pelosi stated 99wk. is the end of it. Where`s Obama`s “CHANGE” we were promised, the Republicans finally were voted out of everything so as to pave the way for CHANGE we could believe in! It all looks the same if not worse. Obama is a war time President, the same as Bush was, this gives him executive privilege to bring about change unfettered, where`s the action to back up the talk? Why not put the Republicans in the same corner of not being patriotic, as Bush did to the Democrats and the whole nation, while he was on vacation every month, and the world sunk into chaos. And by the way wheres the $9 trillion the fed lost ( yes that`s a T not a B) and if you include letting the tax break expire that would clear the deficit and pave the way to recovery.

  • Comm_reply
    13mogul 09/05/2010 9:45am

    Do some research. The Democrats have ruled the Senate and House since ‘06. Democrats forced the Community Reinvestment Act on the country, and refused to fix it under Clinton and also under Bush in ’07. In fact, the only reason that the Democrats are in power is because the GOP are a bunch of mamby-pambies and have been trying to make nice with them for too long. Well, now both parties are being abandoned by the American people because they have played their silly little games for too long and we’re all up s**ts creek. The country is BROKE, we cannot even afford to borrow money, and you want to go into more debt? Are you deliberately trying to destroy the country? And don’t blame big business, if it wasn’t for big business you wouldn’t have a job, and it’s because of big GOVERNMENT and inordinate regulation that these “big” businesses are going to move out of the country and take their jobs with them.


  • Comm_reply
    beenblue 09/06/2010 10:02am


  • beenblue 09/02/2010 1:03am

    If the tax cuts were allowed to expire, the deficit would be reduced by 30%, so the question is, who wants to hold back the recovery? This is all a stage play being played out, nothings changed other than a few faces. The patriot act, illegal wire tapping, secret camps, more intelligence agencies, a growing war scenario in Afghanistan spreading into Pakistan as we surround Iran, the pentagon has a cash flow thats out of control, a war on terror that actually creates terrorists so we have an ideological threat so we can expand our interests using our military in the middle East, and the intentional crippling of our Govt., and soon to have Drone`s flying over us in the U.S., and last but not least the White House has been filled with bankers and lobbyist the very thing Obama said he would get rid of. So the question still stands who`s stopping the recovery, and wheres the change??

  • 13mogul 09/05/2010 9:33am

    We own a small construction company that does custom high end design build work. We have tons of work, but will not be hiring until Obama and his inexperienced staff have left the country to more qualified people. We’ll just turn down work and hire subs if in a pinch. THAT is what they do not understand about the situation; the confidence of the American people drives the economy. And if they DO understand, then we are doomed as a nation because that is their intent, and their insidiousness should outrage us to the point of revolution.

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