- Associated Press - Thursday, September 16, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has passed a bill to create a $30 billion government fund to help open lending for credit-starved small businesses, cut their taxes and boost federal loan programs for them.

The 61-38 tally rewards President Obama and his Democratic allies of Capitol Hill with a long-sought victory and sets the stage for a final vote in the House, which is likely to approve it for Mr. Obama’s signature.

The new fund would help community banks increase lending to small businesses hurt by the recession and the 2008 Wall Street crisis. The bill would also provide about $12 billion in tax breaks over a decade to both large and small businesses and also boost the Small Business Administration’s lending programs.