'Stop holding small businesses hostage,' president tells GOP

President Obama used his Saturday address to continue the message effort pushed on his Friday trip to rally job growth at auto companies bailed out by the government.

In front of a raucous and supportive crowd of auto-plant workers Friday at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant, Obama boasted of jobs that have been saved at the Detroit-area auto plant and told workers in the swing state to remember Republicans who called the companies "the worst investment you can make."

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Saturday's weekly address was taped at the GM plant in Detroit, where Obama again hailed the restructuring of the auto industry and called on Senate Republican leaders to stop blocking a small-business bill.

"As we work to rebuild our economy, I can’t imagine anything more common-sense than giving additional tax breaks and badly needed lending assistance to America’s small business owners so they can grow and hire," the president said, pitching for the Small Business Jobs Act.

"But yesterday, the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it," he said. "Understand, a majority of Senators support the plan. It’s just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won’t even allow it to come up for a vote."

Obama called on the GOP "to stop holding America’s small businesses hostage to politics" and allow an up-or-down vote.

"At a time when America is just starting to move forward again, we can’t afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward," he said. "I won’t stand here and pretend everything’s wonderful. I know that times are tough."

It was clear Thursday night that the small-business bill would be stalled until next week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered up potential agreements on amendments that each failed to appeal to their colleagues.

The bill would provide $12 billion in tax breaks and expand credit access for small businesses.