Reid sets up votes on small business bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) shrugged off repeated failures and filed a procedural move late Thursday night to return to a small business lending bill in September.

Just before adjourning at 10:02 p.m., Reid filed a series of cloture motions to set up votes on the small business bill on Tuesday, Sept. 14. Reid withdrew all pending amendments, reoffered a substitute and moved to block any further amendments.

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Reid set up procedural votes on an amendment by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) that would loosen a paperwork requirement for businesses, plus another vote on a similar amendment by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and finally a procedural vote on the bill itself.

The votes would start at 11 a.m. on Sept. 14, on the Johanns amendment.

Reid’s surprise move came after several attempts during the Senate’s July work period to move to the bill, all of which fell just one or two votes short. Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had tried and failed multiple times to reach agreement on how many amendments would be considered.

The bill would provide $12 billion in tax breaks and expand credit access for small businesses through a $30 billion lending fund.

The Johanns amendment would elimintate a provision requiring any taxpayer with business income to issue 1099 forms to all vendors from whom they buy more than $600 of goods or services in any year. Nelson’s amendment would change that threshold to $5,000.

Reid also agreed to GOP demands late Thursday and removed agricultural disaster aid from the bill.

The House also has to complete the measure before it can go to President Obama for his signature.


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