Senate votes to move forward on $30B loan fund for small businesses

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 LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuDems wrestle over how to vote on ‘Green New Deal’ Lobbying world Former New Orleans mayor: It's not my 'intention' to run for president MORE (D-La.) and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Dems request investigation of lobbyist-turned-EPA employee who met with former boss This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination MORE (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.