Senate tax duel centers on small business

Both parties point to jobs

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Republicans filibustered the bill, arguing Democrats kept rewriting the measure but weren’t letting Republicans offer enough amendments.

Sen. Mike Johanns, Nebraska Republican, is championing an amendment to cut out a reporting requirement included in the new health care law that he said would impose a huge paperwork burden on small businesses. Democrats say his exemption is too broad.

Republicans said that by trying to turn the small-business bill into a make-or-break fight over jobs, Democrats are acknowledging how far short their earlier efforts, such as last year’s $814 billion stimulus, have fallen.

“It’s clear that they can’t point to the success of the stimulus when the unemployment rate is significantly higher than they claimed it would be if they were allowed to borrow and spend that trillion dollars,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican.

He said that has left Democrats to focus on the small-business bill, but Mr. Stewart said the Congressional Oversight Panel, charged with overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said it would be “uncomfortably similar” to the Wall Street bailout.

NFIB says the lending fund could help some businesses that are having trouble securing credit, but Mr. Walters said the group also wants to see the Johanns amendment and other changes.

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