LeMieux seeks tweaks to small-business bill

“There’s some changes that I want to see and we’re working on language,” he said. “If it all works out, I might be able to support it.” 

LeMieux would like to include in the bill a provision that clamps down on Medicare fraud. 

He would also like to add a measure he and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) have worked on that would infuse the Commerce Department with the funds to help small businesses sell their goods and services overseas. 

“It would be good for businesses and create more jobs,” he said.

LeMieux supporting the legislation could be crucial to its passage since Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), who helped draft the original bill, appears to no longer support it.

The legislation is expected to be reintroduced on the Senate floor absent the provision, which creates a $30 billion lending pool that will eventually be reattached to the bill through amendment. 

The measure is being stripped out and voted on separately to give members the opportunity to oppose the lending fund, which many Republicans find controversial.

The package’s two other sections — $12 billion in small-business tax relief and an extension to Small Business Administrations loans — are noncontroversial. 

LeMieux said his constituents appear to support the overall bill. 

“I’ve talked to the bankers; I’ve talked to the folks that represent the chamber; associated industries in Florida; the realtors. They all think this is a very good idea,” he said.

Senate Small Business Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) expects a final vote on the bill before the weekend.