The Senate passed new legislation on Thursday that will offer new tax incentives to business owners. According to Forbes.com legislators passed the bill in a 61 to 38 vote, which will establish a government fund to open up lending to credit-starved small business owners.
The tally gives President Barack Obama and his besieged Democratic allies in Congress a much-sought - but relatively modest - political victory with less than seven weeks to go before Election Day.
Obama said Thursday that the bill will help millions of small business owners across the country grow and hire. "These tax breaks and loans are going to help create jobs in the short term," he said.
The new loan fund would be available to community banks to encourage lending to small businesses. Supporters say banks should be able to use the fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans.
The loan fund is opposed, however, by most Republicans, who liken it to the 2008 bailout of the financial system. They warn it would encourage banks to make loans to borrowers who aren't good credit risks.