By Vicki Needham - 07/23/10 02:19 AM EDT
After a lengthy debate Thursday, the Senate voted 60-37 to end debate on an amendment that would create a $30 billion fund for community banks to lend to small businesses.
Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) spent the better part of the day explaining why their amendment shouldn't be considered another government bailout and would help struggling small businesses.
Their argument convinced two Republicans -- Sens. George LeMieux of Florida and George Voinovich (Ohio). LeMieux said the measure would provide small businesses in his state with the credit they need to create jobs.
The Senate will take up the amendment and the bill again next week with votes planned for Tuesday.