M. SPEAKER, I rise in support of this rule and the underlying legislation.
Small businesses are drivers of economic growth, and play a pivotal role in creating jobs in our communities.
In fact, in my home state of Massachusetts, small businesses represent 85 percent of companies and employ over a quarter of our workforce.
As I meet with small business leaders across my district, I hear time and time again that access to capital -- dollars which allow our small business to invest and to grow -- is a main concern, especially in times of economic hardship.
It is clear to me that small businesses are a vital component of economic recovery. As we work to rebuild our economy and create good paying jobs here at home, we must support the efforts of small businesses across the country.
That is why, M. Speaker, we must act today to pass this legislation.
H.R. 5297 goes a long way in helping our nation's small businesses thrive. Specifically, this bill authorizes the creation of a Small Business Lending Fund which will enable community banks to increase lending to small businesses. It raises Small Business Administration loan limits and improves access to these loans. It provides grants to states in support of small business lending programs.
In addition to creating future opportunities for investment, this bill provides small businesses across our country with $12 billion in tax cuts, and includes a 100 percent exclusion from capital gains taxes on small business investments. These tax breaks will make it easier for businesses to operate, and will increase their capacity to grow.
As we invest in our small businesses, we forge a path toward economic prosperity for so many Americans -- for not only the small business owners, but for those who will be employed by these companies. Improving small businesses' access to capital will foster innovation and encourage the development of new products and services to carry our country forward.
Simply put, M. Speaker, we have no choice but to act now.
I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this rule and the underlying legislation. I yield back the balance of my time.