Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Joins Most House Democrats in Support of Small Businesses, Local Banks, and America’s Economy

June 17, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) today joined most of his Democratic colleagues in supporting H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act, critical legislation that would help small businesses get the loans they need. The bill was sent to the Senate after it passed the House by a 241-182 vote, with only three Republicans in support.

"Once again, Congressional Democrats are standing with Main Street, fighting to make it easier for small businesses to expand and hire new workers," Congressman Garamendi said. "Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have a different approach to handling our economy, preferring to let everyday folks fight for themselves while bailing out their upper crust friends with lavish tax breaks for the wealthy."

Congressman Garamendi was also proud to support an amendment to the bill by Reps. Perlmutter, Gutierrez, Klein and Kagen that would increase the availability of credit to small businesses and help community banks that are facing significant losses due to distressed real estate markets and declining values. It allows community banks under $10 billion in assets to temporarily amortize losses over 6 years on commercial real estate and other qualified real estate related transactions. Eligible banks would be incentivized to increase their small business lending by offering an extended period for amortizing write-downs over no more than 10 years for increased small business lending. 

"Small businesses are responsible for anywhere from 55 to 70 percent of all jobs created in America, so it’s absolutely essential that we ease their access to new credit – credit most likely to come from smaller community banks with an interest in the local economy," Garamendi added. "Our economy won’t fully get back to work until small businesses get back to work."

The Small Business Lending Fund Act (H.R. 5297) and companion legislation passed Tuesday, the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act (H.R. 5486) are fully paid for and will:

Leverage up to $300 billion in loans for small businesses through a $30 billion lending fund for small and medium-sized community banks, which focus on lending to small firms, and $2 billion for innovative state lending programs supporting small businesses. The fund will save taxpayers $1 billion as banks are expected to repay funds over 10 years; it is limited to small banks.

Restart private investment to meet small businesses’ evolving financing needs through a new Small Business Administration public-private partnership.

Provide $3.5 billion in bipartisan tax incentives to spur investment in small businesses and the formation of new small businesses, and grant small business tax penalty relief.

A partial list of jobs bills supported by Congressman Garamendi and House Democrats is available here: