Obama hits GOP for blocking small business bill

President Obama on Tuesday called on Senate Republicans to help pass small business legislation that the upper chamber failed to pass before August recess.

Obama made his comments alongside small business owners in Seattle during a three-day, cross-country tour in which he is plugging his economic agenda and campaigning for Democrats in competitive races.

"When Congress reconvenes, this jobs bill will be the first business out of the gate I ask Senate Republicans to drop their objections," he said, adding that they "won't even let it go to a vote."

“There will be plenty of time between now and November to play politics,” Obama added. "But the small-business owners beside me and around the country don’t have time for political gains."

The legislation would expand small-business lending programs and implement certain tax breaks. Democrats have said that the bill provides the aid needed to help businesses hire more workers.

Republicans had refused to support the measure, saying the Democratic leadership did not allow them to introduce enough amendments. They also accused Democrats of not handling the bill as if it was a priority. 

A cloture vote to end debate on the bill failed without any GOP support. 

“It takes a lot of effort to make a partisan issue out of a bill that should have broad bipartisan support. But our friends on the other side have outdone themselves," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. "We first got on this bill in late June, and since then, Democrats have set it aside six separate times to move to something else—we’ll take it up again in September when the Senate returns.

 "So from the beginning this bill clearly wasn’t a priority to them—until they realized that they didn’t have anything to talk about when they go home in August."