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President Obama in Rhode Island: "When You Vote Against Small Business Tax Relief..."

The President tours American Cord & Webbing in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, explaining how the small business will benefit from the Small Business Jobs Act that was blocked for months by Republicans in Congress.

This afternoon the President toured American Cord & Webbing in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.  It was the kind of business the President thought about as he was cutting taxes for small business 16 times, and making sure health reform made it easier and more affordable to cover their employees.  Most recently, it was the kind of business he was thinking of when he signed the Small Business Jobs Act, which he discussed with workers afterwards:

And last month, after plenty of political obstacles, after months in which thousands of small business owners across America were waiting for the loans and tax cuts they badly needed to grow their business and hire new employees, I signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act.

Now, that act extended provisions that helped support tens of thousands of new SBA loans under the Recovery Act, and it waived fees on those loans to save owners money on their payments -– something that saved this particular company more than $9,000.

In less than a month since that new law took effect, more than 3,600 small business owners have already received more than $1.4 billion worth of new loans, with more to come -- and the SBA has already begun offering larger loans for small business owners who need them.

The law also accelerates $55 billion in new tax cuts for businesses both large and small that make job-creating investments over the next year.  It eliminates capital gains taxes on key new investments made in small businesses until the end of this year.  It dramatically increases the amount small businesses can write off on new equipment investments -- and we want to do more, so that you can write it all off.  These are tax cuts that can help America -- help businesses like American Cord and Webbing that are making new investments right now.  And it can help create jobs.

Finally, the law that we signed creates new initiatives to increase lending to small businesses. It strengthens state programs that spur private sector lending, and that’s a step that will support $15 billion in new small business loans across the country.  And it sets up a new Small Business Lending Fund that will support Main Street banks that lend to Main Street businesses.

The President also explained why it was so tough to get through:

Now, I will confess I wish that Republican leaders in Congress had agreed earlier.  They voted against these ideas again and again.  They talk a good game about tax cuts and giving entrepreneurs the freedom to succeed when, in fact, they also ended up voting against tax cuts for the middle class; they voted against tax breaks for companies creating jobs here in the United States. 

When you vote against small business tax relief and you hold up a small business jobs bill for months, that doesn’t do anything to support small businesses like this one.  It doesn’t do anything to support the outstanding workers at this company.  It’s just playing politics.  If you’re going to talk a big game, then you need to deliver.

So I hope that my friends on the other side of the aisle are going to change their minds going forward, because putting the American people back to work, boosting our small businesses, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class, these are big national challenges.  And we’ve all got a stake in solving them.  And it’s not going to be enough just to play politics.  You can’t just focus on the next election.  You’ve got to focus on the next generation.

That’s how Mark’s company has succeeded by focusing on the next generation.  And that’s how we have to think about our work in Washington.  (Applause.)