Geithner: Passage of small-business bill will help Hispanics

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has previously stated that the chamber's first order of business will be to take up the small-business bill.

The legislation provides tax relief and loan opportunities to small businesses.

While most Senate Republicans are expected to oppose the measure, Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) has signaled that he will support it if Reid allows debate on repealing a provision in the new healthcare law that requires companies to report purchases of at least $600 to the IRS.

Geithner also urged Congress to pass the George W. Bush-era tax cuts benefiting the middle class and welcomed the news that House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) would not block the legislation.

"We welcome recent indications that Republicans won't hold middle-class tax cuts hostage to their desire to have us go out and borrow $700 billion from our children just to make permanent tax cuts for the top 2 percent earners in the country," Geithner said. "If they mean what they say, there's no reason to delay moving ahead with tax relief for the middle class."

Still, Boehner's comment could have little impact on the fate of the Bush tax cuts. The Senate is expected to act first on the issue, and Republican opposition there is strong for allowing tax breaks for the wealthy to expire.

With the Senate acting first on the Bush tax cuts, Boehner may never get the chance to vote on legislation that only extends the tax cuts for the middle class.