(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday challenged Senate Republicans to back a bill that would help small businesses, calling its provisions "things the Republican Party has said it supported for years."
Speaking at a New Jersey sandwich shop, Obama said the bill would help people like the shop's owners and other small-business operators by easing their tax burden and helping them get more credit.
"Surely, Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to agree on this bill," Obama said.
The president was surrounded by a group of local small-business owners, including the owners of the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, New Jersey, where Obama bought a sandwich.
"This town, Edison, is name after somebody who was not only one of history's greatest inventors but also a pretty savvy small-business owner," Obama said of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb.
Calling small businesses "the backbone" of the nation, he said they generate two of every three U.S. jobs and allow people to pursue entrepreneurial dreams essential to the American spirit.
The small-business bill before the Senate would set up a $30 billion lending fund to help community banks offer small businesses credit. It also would provide tax breaks to small businesses that invest in new equipment and hire unemployed workers. The House passed a similar bill in June.
Republican opposition has focused on the cost of the measure, but Obama said Wednesday that the real reason is to obstruct progress for short-term political gain.
"We've seen a fair amount of obstruction that's had more to do with gaining political advantage than helping the country," Obama said.
The purpose of the small-business bill is to help entrepreneurs succeed, not prop them up, he said, adding: "Government can't guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers that keep entrepreneurs from opening or expanding."
"If this bill becomes law, small businesses and startups will see the positive benefits right away," Obama said, noting that it would eliminate
capital gains taxes for key investments and allow small businesses to write off appreciation on new equipment.
"This is as American as apple pie," Obama said of the bill.
Republicans are against everything! This must be some kind of union payoff! GOP=TOOL
Glad so many of you see through the repo nut jobs. Of course they won't pass anything that might make this president popular. The party of No just keeps getting weirder and weirder. To many old biggots. They use the guise of being patriots but what they really are is a bunch of bible thumping biggots. Vote them out come November
I've never seen such a bunch of obvious liars and hypocrites as the current Republican party and the media is making them pay no price. When is CNN going to start calling them out when they insist on paid for stimulus but un-paid for tax cuts for the rich? What about them being against all kinds of things they used to be for until Obama wanted to do them too?
It's time for the Republicans to put up or shut up. Are they for or against the American people? Do they care about everyday people, or are they unfeeling plutocrats? Do they believe in heartland American values, or are they just interested in trying to undermine this President no matter the destruction they wreak? At long last, have they no shame? It's time for them to stop their reflexive obstructionism, and help the true patriotic Americans in the government do the work of the American people.
Where is the money to pay for any funding support bill? The US has been bankrupted by Obama and his disciples.
I can't believe that 8 years of the Bush nightmare has passed and people are still defending and praising him. I can't believe that the Tea Party lay like sleeping snakes all through the Bush Regime and NOW they are for smaller government, etc. I know the Rethugs and their minions won't support this idea but it is a good one. Come one Real Americans, we need to vote the Rethugs out so that President Obama can move this country forward and our democracy can thrive again. And yes, he is running and improving our democracy.