Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Democrats Mean Business, Congressman Garamendi Says As House Passes Small Business Jobs Act

September 24, 2010
Press Release

Garamendi Votes to Support America's Small Businesses While the GOP
Sides with Multi-National Corporations That Ship Jobs Overseas

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA) joined House Democrats today in voting for H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010. The Small Business Lending Fund Act helps small businesses obtain badly needed loans, so they can expand and hire new workers. Despite opposition from all but one Republican, the House of Representatives by a vote of 237-187 passed the bill, which heads to the President's desk for his signature.

Small businesses created two-thirds of new jobs in this country over the last 15 years. However, as the Joint Economic Committee reports, the number of loans made to small businesses has fallen by nearly 5 million since 2008, when the Great Recession began under the Bush Administration. Additionally, between 1997 and 2007, small businesses lost 20% of market share to big businesses.

"By opening up the credit market to small businesses, this bill provides America's entrepreneurs with the tools they need to succeed," said Congressman Garamendi, a small business owner. "Although three million Americans have jobs because of the policies of President Obama and this Democratic-led Congress, we face a long road ahead. Expanded access to capital bolsters our economic recovery and helps ward off a double-dip recession."

This small business bill helps the private sector create 500,000 new jobs. A linchpin of the bill is a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund that provides small community banks with capital and strong financial incentives to make loans to small businesses. The bill also helps businesses succeed through major tax cuts, including allowing self-employed taxpayers to deduct health costs for payroll tax purposes and doubling the deduction for start-up expenditures. It's mostly paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes, including those that incentivize pollution and the offshoring of American jobs.

Garamendi continued, "Despite support from major business groups and the fact that this bill will not add a dime to our country's deficit, Republicans again turned their backs on America's workers for partisan political gain. They voted against helping Main Street businesses compete against large corporations."

With his package of Make it in America bills, Congressman Garamendi championed two measures that were included in the Small Business Lending Fund Act: closing corporate tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas and providing businesses with an immediate tax write-off for capital investments, such as equipment and machinery. The Make it in America package to invigorate American business also includes bills that require U.S. tax dollars are spent on domestically produced transportation and clean energy systems.

"On a day that Republicans rolled out their platform of failed ideas left over from the Bush era, they shed crocodile tears for America's small businesses. Their definition of a small business includes the private equity firm The Carlyle Group and Harrah's Entertainment," Garamendi added.

"In this difficult economic climate, Democrats understand that nothing is more important than enabling small business owners to put their ideas into action, so they can expand, increase their profits, and bring on more employees," the Congressman said. "Today, we continue a responsible pro-business agenda that brings jobs back to America."

California has more than three million small businesses and 99.2% of California's employers are small firms.