Two Bills to Help Small Business Defeated by Election Year Posturing
Moving forward with business legislation seems like a lost cause in the stalled Senate as two laws, one from the GOP and the other from the Dems, both failed to get the votes they needed to pass into law.
This was just the most recent push to jump-start a weak and struggling economy and to give people more jobs. The bill introduced by the Democrats required 60 votes in favor to pass, but was only able to garner 53 in favor with 44 nays. The bill would have given 10 percent income tax credits to small businesses that hire new employees or raise the salaries of already employed workers. The bill also would have allowed businesses to speedily write off purchases made on new equipment.
“We’re in the midst of another Senate floor show, pursuing legislation that will get the president and his allies campaign talking points but will do absolutely nothing to spur economic growth and job creation,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican from Utah.
Some aisle crossing was seen in support of this bill. Two moderate Republican senators with upcoming tough elections in their home states joined the Democrats in support of this bill, Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada. One moderate Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia crossed the aisle to vote against the bill with the Republicans.
According to the Democrats this legislation, part of Obama’s “Startup America” plan, would have created about one million new jobs.
The Republican plan had even more trouble garnering support in the democratically controlled Senate. Not only did Dems not support it, but 21 Republicans voted against it as well, almost half of the GOP senators. And this is despite the fact that the House version of the bill passed in April. The final vote for the bill was 73 against and only 24 in favor. This bill would have provided a 20 percent tax break for businesses that employ under 500 workers. This bill was in trouble from the start, criticized by congressional Democrats who said that this bill would give tax breaks to the likes of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, and small hedge funds. The White House also threatened to veto it if it passed.
“There’s no reason for them to oppose this bill, other than they’re trying to hurt President Obama, small businesses and the middle class,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada.
Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader wrote the bill, but the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, did the actual introduction of the law into the Senate.