Obama urges passage of new small-business legislation

President Barack Obama on Friday pressed Congress to pass a new set of small-business tax breaks and loan incentives he says will help spur job creation. 

The legislation, which is sitting in a House committee, could be taken up on the House floor next week. Similar legislation is expected to be taken up in the Senate soon. 

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"I’m eager to sign this tax relief and additional lending into law," he said in remarks in the Rose Garden following a meeting with small-business owners. "That’s how we can continue to move our economy forward — to continue on the path from recession to recovery, and ultimately to prosperity."

Obama's comments come on the heels of a worse-than-expected May jobs report that showed private sector firms only hired 41,000 new workers over the course of the month. 

Republicans have blamed Democratic legislation, such as the stimulus package and the healthcare law, for stunted job growth. But Obama said those bills have kept the economy afloat and helped it to create jobs instead of lose them. 

"These and other steps are making a difference. Little more than a year ago, the economy was in freefall. Today, it’s growing again," he said. 

However, Obama cautioned that more needs to be done, such as the new small-business bill, before the economy is fully recovered. 

"But even though we are digging out from this recession, we still find ourselves in a pretty deep hole," he said. "As small-business owners like Prachee and Bobby and Steve will tell you: we may be recovering, but we are not recovered. We have to keep moving forward."

Cross-posted from the Briefing Room 

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