Republicans block small business plan in Senate Reuters
(Reuters) - Senate Republicans blocked a $30-billion plan to help community banks boost lending to small businesses, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's election-year battle to reduce unemployment.
Tempers ran high as Democratic leaders failed to muster the 60 votes needed to advance the measure over Republican objections. Republicans were upset that Democrats shut them out from amending the package that also includes about $12 billion in tax breaks for small businesses.
"Enough is enough. This has been anything but a jobs agenda," said Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. The Maine moderate has voted with Democrats on some issues, most recently to extend jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed. This time she stuck with her party and voted to block the small business bill from advancing toward passage.