Today, the Financial Services Committee passed the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) to boost lending to small businesses having a hard time getting credit in today’s tough economy:
H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act, will establish a $30 billion fund to boost lending to small businesses looking to hire and expand their operations by providing additional capital to community banks. The program is completely separate from TARP and mandates accountability and oversight by Congress, the GAO, and the Treasury Department's Inspector General. The committee also adopted several bipartisan amendments today to strengthen the bill and defeated numerous amendments by Republicans designed to defeat the measure. The bill calls for the capital to be repaid by community banks over time.
In addition, the committee approved an amendment introduced by Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) that will provide federal funding for state lending programs that use small amounts of public resources to generate substantial private bank financing. Such programs are designed to address many of the reasons banks are having trouble increasing lending to small businesses, including lenders' desire to hold greater reserves against certain loans and concerns about collateral shortfalls on the part of borrowers.
H.R. 5297 was approved by a vote of 42-23 and now moves to the House floor for consideration.
Speaker Pelosi on the bill’s movement:
Today, Congress made progress on legislation that will foster more lending to America's small businesses — the backbone of our economy. By encouraging community banks to increase lending, we are supporting the small businesses on America's main streets in their efforts to grow and create jobs.
Unfortunately, as they did with Wall Street Reform legislation and other efforts to grow our economy and create jobs, Republicans chose once again to side against Main Street and small businesses by opposing this job-creating bill in committee. Our nation's small businesses continue to face obstacles in accessing the credit they need to invest in the communities they serve. With this legislation, small businesses will benefit from improved access to the capital that will enable them to channel their entrepreneurial spirit.
This legislation will be brought up for a vote soon in the House of Representatives. I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting America's small businesses.