Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Obama slams GOP on taxes, small business aid

By the CNN Wire Staff


CNN -- President Barack Obama tore into GOP congressional leaders again Wednesday for trying to block his small business aid bill and opposing his plan to extend the Bush tax cuts only to those making under $250,000.

Flanked by his economic team at the White House, the president specifically thanked GOP Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio and George LeMieux of Florida for breaking with the Republican leadership on the small business bill.

The two senators helped the $42 billion measure clear a key procedural hurdle on Tuesday, setting it up for final passage.

They understand "we don't have time to play games" anymore, Obama said.

The measure is expected to create 500,000 jobs, according to a summary of the bill from the Senate.

Among other things, it would authorize the creation of a $30 billion fund run by the Treasury Department that would deliver ultra-cheap capital to banks with less than $10 billion in assets.

The idea is that community banks do the lion's share of lending to small businesses, and pumping capital into them will get money in the hands of Main Street businesses.

Obama said he is "grateful" that Congress is now on the verge of passing the bill -- which had been stalled until the two senators broke from GOP leaders -- but he added that it "should not have taken this long."

The president also said Republican leaders are holding "middle class tax cuts hostage" by refusing to sign on to his plan to allow the Bush tax cuts for wealthier Americans to expire.

Republicans have repeatedly expressed their opposition to any tax hikes in light of the weak economic recovery. They've asserted that allowing taxes to rise on those making over $250,000 would result in a hit on small businesses.

All of the Bush tax cuts are currently set to expire at the end of this year.

--CNN's Alan Silverleib and Catherine Clifford contributed to this report. To top of page

Questions & Answers



QHow does a florist sell more in this economy? We changed our business to designing weddings and events only, as the everyday flowers are not selling. We had to throw out too much product at the end of the week -- flowers are perishable! More
Get Answer
- The Flower Lady, Suwanee, Ga.
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.60%3.68%
15 yr fixed2.73%2.79%
5/1 ARM3.00%3.03%
30 yr refi3.64%3.72%
15 yr refi2.77%2.82%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Sponsors

Sections

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had said previously that the automaker would become "cash-flow positive" this year. But in a letter to shareholders Wednesday, Musk signaled that won't be the case after all. More

The jobs market is near full employment with 14 million jobs added since early 2010. Gas prices are cheap. Home prices are rising. The stock market is near record highs. So why does everyone think the economy stinks? More

Oakland-based tech startup Clef hosts dinners for the local community in a bid to resist gentrification and unite all types of industries that make up the city. More

Visa says new software will allow consumers to check out with chip cards as fast as swiping a card with magnetic strip. More