Snowe wants action on small-biz bill, not more promises

He also met with Senate Republicans at the group's weekly caucus luncheon to discuss the legislative feats that could be accomplished this year. The goal includes completing work on a small-businesses bill, which Democrats have been promising to do for a number of months. 

"We agree in getting a small-business package done, the question is when," Snowe said. "There's an urgency in addressing the issue of small businesses and job creation and providing some certainty."

Congress has been promising to move a small-business bill since the winter. Right before the chamber adjourned for its spring break Snowe made similar grumblings about how little had been accomplished on this front. 

"I had been assured that we were going to get a small-business package before the recess," she said in March, adding, "Now, it's not going to come before the recess. It's going to come afterwards." 

Snowe must now wait until after the Memorial Day recess to see action on small-business legislation, barring a miracle where the Senate introduces and passes legislation by the end of the week. 

The House has already passed a small-business bill that zeroes out capital gains taxes for smaller C corporations. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has indicated he too would like to move a similar measure through his chamber that would also expand loan opportunities to smaller companies.

However, advancing a small-business package through the Senate has been complicated. Lawmakers there want some assurance that an agreement on the estate tax is within reach before moving forward on the small-business bill. 

To make good on Obama's wish to move a small-business package sooner rather than later, the bill and the estate tax issue might have to be de-linked.