U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today helped lead an effort to win final Senate passage of the comprehensive Small Business Jobs Bill (HR 5297) designed to spur job growth through expanded access to capital and $12 billion in targeted tax incentives. Cantwell is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Small Business Committee, the two panels that developed the bipartisan provisions of the bill. Cantwell has repeatedly advocated for the $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund, which the Senate added to the legislation last week with a supermajority vote. She also highlighted a small business trade promotion provision and a measure to aid small business government subcontractors -- all provisions she cosponsored.
"In my state, we have over a 140,000 small businesses that have employees -- that is in addition to the employers," Senator Cantwell said in remarks today on the Senate floor. "Since this recession that we've had in 2008, our state has lost over 142,000 jobs. So if each of those small businesses were to hire one more employee, it would more than wipe out the job loss in the state. So this kind of job growth -- one more employee per small business -- would be a huge economic boost to our economy."
Cantwell continued: "And so I hope that my colleagues will want to move forward on this legislation as soon as possible. There are 27 million small businesses in America. And small businesses were the hardest hit by the recession. Two-thirds of the job loss that we saw came from small business. And 75 percent of new job creation comes from small businesses. I urge my colleagues to support moving ahead on this legislation. Let's not delay another day. Wall Street certainly got its due -- certainly got help and support from many in the previous legislation. Let's make sure small business and Main Street gets the support it deserves to move ahead."
Senator Cantwell has joined forces with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), chairman of the Small Business Committee, and other colleagues in a floor battle to win passage of the Small Business Jobs Bill. The measure appears to have majority support but is embroiled in a partisan parliamentary battle and requires a supermajority of 60 votes to pass. Proponents of the bill believe they are within one vote of gaining the necessary vote for final passage.