The Senate appeared unlikely to complete a small-business lending bill this week as Republicans and Democrats were at loggerheads over what amendments should be considered.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid held a press conference Wednesday to tout the need for the bill to spur economic recovery, arguing that the "engine to economic recovery is small businesses." He expressed frustration with Republicans for wanting to bring up amendments he characterized as extraneous.
"I hope we can move forward on this bill," said Reid. "We are not getting the right cooperation."
The bill would, among other things, set up a $30 billion fund that community banks could use for lending to small businesses.
The banking industry supports the thrust of the bill but is vehemently opposed to an amendment from Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., that would increase credit unions' business lending limit.
Reid said he likes Udall's measure but is unsure whether it or any other amendment would be considered. "I am not sure we are going to be able to get to amendments on this bill," he said. "I am familiar with the Udall bill. I like it. I think it is … important. But we're not there yet."