Washington lawmakers continue push for small business loan fund

Washington Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging him to act on a proposed $30-billion small business loan fund suggested by President Barack Obama, the Columbian reports.

According to the Columbian, Cantwell said that increased development and funding to help entrepreneurs start a corporation would help solve unemployment nationwide.

“We need to continue to increase access to capital to small businesses to make sure they’re growing,” Cantwell told the paper.

The president first proposed the fund – along with several other measures – back in February. It has been passed by the House financial services committee, but the Senate hasn’t acted on the idea.

Portfolio.com reports that some Republicans have said the loan fund is “another bank bailout.” One New Jersey representative dubbed the proposal “TARP Jr.”

Cantwell’s remarks Thursday came on the same day that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke emphasized the importance of small business lending to the economic recovery – calling small businesses “vital” to job creation.ADNFCR-3052-ID-19820482-ADNFCR

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