Lawmakers hit impasse on small business bill

Reid said Democrats agreed to consider three Republican amendments -- one by Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) one-year extension on research and development tax credits, a second by Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) on the biodiesel tax credit and a third by Sen. Mike Johanns (Neb.) to nix 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.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also offered another amendment by Hatch to refer the bill to committee to prevent tax hikes, a Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on spending caps, a Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) on nuclear loan guarantees, a Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on border security and a Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz) amendment on the estate tax. 

"Those amendments have nothing to do with the bill," Reid said. "Let's be serious, this is an effort to stall and not do this bill." 

Senate Republicans requested four GOP amendments and four Democratic side-by-side amendments but the request was denied, according to a senior Republican aide. 

Reid said Democrats were planning to offer amendments on Medicaid funding to states, paying for a $3.4 billion settlement in an Indian trust case that has been ongoing in a Washington court for more than 10 years, education funding for teachers, the larger tax extenders bill that hasn't been able to pass the Senate and a side-by-side to the Johanns amendment. 

"Both sides are piling on here," McConnell said. 

While the bill had broad bipartisan support it now has "substantial opposition" and "we have to figure out how to get the bill passed in a form agreeable to the Senate," McConnell said. 

Senate Small Business Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said passage of an amendment to add a $30 lending fund to the bill showed there is enough support for the measure. 

"We got 60 votes so, like, we won," said. 

Both sides agreed to continue talks on the bill in an effort to reach an agreement before the Senate leaves at the end of next week for the August recess.