The White House on Tuesday renewed its push for a proposed $30 billion fund to encourage small-business lending.
President Obama gave a speech in the Rose Garden and administration officials held a conference call on the fund and related proposals.
"This fund would target only small community and neighborhood banks, and it would help these institutions increase lending to small businesses," the president said.
Obama's remarks, in marking National Small Business Week, tried to frame the plan as an opportunity for bipartisan assistance of small-business owners seeking to create jobs.
The House Financial Services Committee approved a bill to create a fund to provide capital to community banks to spur small-business lending. The House was expected to consider the bill on Wednesday but Gene Sperling, counselor to the Treasury secretary, said the proposal would be added to a comprehensive small-business jobs package Congress could take up after the Memorial Day recess. He also addressed Republicans' characterization of the fund as another bailout by reiterating its potential benefits to Main Street America.
"Most people feel this is exactly the type of initiative they want to be done," Sperling said on a conference call with reporters.