Democrats are planning a Thursday vote on a measure creating a $30 billion fund that provides loans to small businesses, with small- and mid-sized banks as the middlemen. House Democrats passed on Tuesday a package of tax breaks — including the temporary elimination of capital gains taxes — specifically for small firms.
The Senate has yet to take up either measure.
Pelosi blasted Republican leaders for largely opposing the measure even though they joined Democrats and President George W. Bush to pass the bank bailouts in 2008. Only five GOP members voted with Democrats on the tax break bill Tuesday.
"This is a very clear distinction between Wall Street and Main Street," said Pelosi said. "They're always there for Wall Street. They didn't show up for Main Street."
Republicans have compared the $30 billion lending fund to TARP. Rep. Spencer BachusSpencer BachusSpencer Bachus: True leadership The FDA should approve the first disease-modifying treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Study: Payday lenders fill GOP coffers MORE (Ala.), the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, has called the loan fund another "bailout" and has questioned Democratic arguments that the loans will be paid back.
"Their bailout proposal is another round of TARP that will drive up the national debt and crowd out funding in the private market for small businesses," Bachus said when the bill was debated in his committee. "That's not the kind of solution small businesses need, or that taxpayers demand."