Reid 'offended' by GOP threat to block small business bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was “offended” by the dilatory threats of GOP senators posed last week against a bill to fund the Small Business Administration (SBA) and he touted the legislation as Democrat's third major bill to promote job creation this year.

A procedural vote to allow the bill to the floor is scheduled for Monday afternoon but a group of senators lead by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) sent a letter to Reid late last week threatening to halt progress on any bill that does not deal directly with deficit reduction.

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Reid promptly answered their threat on Thursday by bringing up the bill to fund the SBA and scheduling a vote for Monday that would allow the Senate to continue work on the bill.

"I can’t imagine anything so senseless," said Reid on Monday afternoon responding to a reporter's question about the letter.  "This program creates jobs. Jobs. It is good for our economy. It is good for individual states. It is good for innovation and for our country. To be honest with you I am a little offended by that letter."

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), who is the floor manager for the SBA authorization bill, criticized the Republican hard line on bills not directly related to deficit reduction.

“That view is very shortsighted and that argument is going to fall by the wayside because people are smarter than that,” Landrieu said.