WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of the Small Business Lending Fund Act (H.R. 5297). Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Small businesses are the job-creating engine of our economy. They employ more than half of all employees in the private sector, and they have created 64% of net new jobs over the past 15 years. So ensuring that small businesses have the resources they need to keep innovating, growing, and creating jobs is essential to a sustained economic recovery.
“And small businesses have been at the heart of Democrats’ recovery strategy ever since this Congress convened in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The Recovery Act, which cut taxes for 98% of Americans and is responsible for some 2 million jobs, gave small businesses tax credits for hiring many unemployed workers and helped them make the capital investments that are essential to their growth. Since the Recovery Act, we have expanded Small Business Administration lending, created further tax credits for hiring unemployed workers, and offered immediate and long-term tax credits to help small businesses afford employee health care.
“And yesterday, the House passed the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act, which will exempt 100% of small business capital gains from taxation and increase the amount of start-up expenses small business owners can deduct from their taxes. That means more investment in small businesses, and more entrepreneurs willing and able to start businesses of their own and hire workers to staff them.
“Today we can take another step to help small businesses add workers: establishing a $30 billion fund to expand lending to small businesses looking to make new investments in growth, at no cost to the taxpayer. This bill, the Small Business Lending Fund Act, invests capital in community and small banks under terms that become more favorable to those banks as they make more loans to small businesses. And the CBO tells us that all of the money in the Small Business Lending Fund will be repaid with interest, and that taxpayers will actually make a $1 billion profit over the next decade.
“Unfortunately, 45% of small businesses seeking loans to expand or even just stay afloat were turned down last year—and you can imagine how those denials led directly to unemployment. This bill can go a long way toward opening up the flow of credit that helps create jobs. I urge my colleagues to support this bill and help our small businesses create jobs.”