Senate Republicans stood against Democrats Thursday by voting against a motion to limit debate on a substitute amendment to the small business bill. Republicans complained that they were not given a fair chance to get votes on five amendments, including one on the estate tax.
However; Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says they're getting closer. He predicted a chance of significant progress very soon. But Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., remains frustrated. Reid accused the Republicans of not wanting an agreement. Democrats and President Obama continue to urge the Senate to act quickly.
The measure pending before the Senate would create a $30 billion small business lending fund, extend $12 billion in tax breaks and enhance federal programs designed to help small businesses.
Meanwhile Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa says the claim made this week by Families USA about a small business tax credit for health care doesn't add up. According to Grassley the advocacy group said over 90% of small businesses in Iowa would be eligible for the tax credit created by the new health care law. Grassley says the analysis of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office doesn't support that assertion, and CBO is the official scorekeeper for legislation in Congress.
Previously, the National Federation of Independent Business determined that only 30% of small businesses in Iowa would qualify for the new law's tax credit. Grassley points out that the Families USA study did not factor in the requirement that says a small business must pay more than half of its employees' premium costs in order to qualify for the tax credit. When that's considered, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only three million small business employees nationwide would benefit from this tax credit in 2016.