Finishing small-business bill still possible

A stalled small-business bill could see floor action this week, a leading Senate Democrat said Monday. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested this afternoon that a deal on the small-business lending and tax bill is in the offing and could allow for the Senate to pass the measure before the August recess, which begins at the end of the week. 

"We're pretty close to having an agreement on that," Reid said on the floor today. "The Republican leader has checked with his people on a number of issues. I have to check with mine. But I think we're headed to that we can have a number of votes and complete that matter before we leave here."

The bill ran out of steam late last week when Democrats and Republicans reached an impasse over amendments. 

Democratic and Republican aides have said they are still trying to reach an accord on the legislation that will create a $30 billion lending fund to help community banks lend to small businesses.

If the Senate completes the measure this week, the House would likely consider it sometime after it returns in mid-September.