President Barack Obama shakes hands in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 27, 2010, during a ceremony to sign the Small Business Jobs Act. The $42 billion measure passed by Congress takes effect immediately and is designed to aid small businesses and create jobs.
At the White House this afternoon, President Obama signed the Small Business Jobs Act into law, "scoring a prized political victory five weeks before the Nov. 2 elections," The Associated Press reports. It passed the House of Representatives last week, 237 to 187.
According to The New York Times, "the legislation had been caught up in months of political struggle as Republicans and Democrats sought to prove their support for small companies and entrepreneurs struggling in the weak economy."
In a signing ceremony from the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama took a direct swipe at the Republican leadership in Congress, accusing them of stalling the legislation for months.
“I regret that this bill, which was based on ideas from both Republicans and Democrats, I regret that this was blocked for months by the Republican minority,” Mr. Obama said. He said the Republicans had “delayed relief” with their legislative tactics.
The AP has this summary:
The bill creates a $30 billion government fund to help encourage lending to small businesses, many of which have been having difficulty securing bank loans and credit. The fund will be available to community banks, which could use the money to leverage billions more in loans.
The legislation also includes about $12 billion in tax breaks for small business — eight separate tax cuts that take effect Monday. One such provision increases to $500,000 the amount of investments that businesses would be allowed to write off this year and next.
The measure also gives a boost to some Small Business Administration loan programs.