House approves small-business bill; Obama laments 'needless' stall

On a 237-187 vote, the House on Thursday approved a $42 billion bill to provide aid to small businesses. 

The Senate approved the legislation last week, and President Obama plans to sign the legislation on Monday.

One Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.), supported the measure, while 13 Democrats voted against their party. 


The legislation provides $12 billion in tax breaks to businesses and would create a $30 billion fund to expand credit access to small businesses.

Business organizations that have backed the measure say the loan fund could spur $300 billion in lending.

The White House pressured the Senate to pass the bill before the August recess, but time ran out before Democrats could find the Republican support needed to beat a GOP filibuster.

President Obama, attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, again criticized Republicans for holding up the legislation in a statement after the House passage. 

"After months of partisan obstruction and needless delay, I’m grateful that Democrats and a few Republicans came together to support this common-sense plan to put Americans back to work," Obama said in a statement.

The 13 Democrats voting against the measure were: Reps. Marion Berry (Ark.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Travis Childers (Miss.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Chet Edwards (Texas), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), Gene Taylor (Miss.), Dina Titus (Nev.), and Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee.

Velazquez said she voted against the bill over concerns that capital wouldn't get to the small businesses most in need. She said the House-passed version was "carefully crafted" and included "strong safeguards to ensure that banks boost their small business lending," which she said wasn't a component of the Senate-passed bill.

Other Democrats joined Obama in hitting Republicans for opposing the legislation.

"Republicans stand in opposition to this bill because its passage would be a success for President Obama and for this Congress," House Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.). "Republicans in this body should not attempt to hide behind flimsy excuses for the sake of party unity."

Several House Republicans opposed to the bill complained it represented more unnecessary spending by Obama and congressional Democrats.

The measure received support last week from two Republicans — Sens. George Voinovich (Ohio) and George LeMieux (Fla.).

A recent report by the Joint Economic Committee shows that lending and the amount of loans to small businesses has declined this year, while hiring remains flat as the smallest firms continue to reduce hiring.

This story was updated at 4:51 p.m. An earlier version included a incorrect vote count.