WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today commented on the Republicans’ successful effort to hold the Senate from passing a bill to extend two important small business provisions enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: increased government guarantees and eliminated fees on small business loans. The blocked bill would also have temporarily extended unemployment benefits and other vital programs. Many of the programs, including the small business provisions, will expire on Sunday, February 28th.

“With Republicans now blocking basic benefits for out-of-work families and access to capital for small businesses, they have reached a new level of obstructionism. The increased government guarantees and eliminated fees, changes made under the Recovery Act, have alone added $18.2 billion in lending to more than 40,000 small businesses and helped to create more than 500,000 jobs in the last year.

“These programs will expire on Sunday and, because of the success of the programs, the money has already run out, leaving 343 small business owners waiting for $141 million in loans. One such small business owner from Louisiana contacted my office this week pleading for help. Her Recovery Act loan has been approved for an increase, but it is pending further action from Congress. Without this increased capital, she says she will need to lay off 27 workers.

“Small business owners across America are depending on us to refund and extend these necessary small business programs. But thanks to one Republican, thousands of small business owners might not get the money they need in time. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the Senate to pass an extension of these provisions as soon as possible.”

Eighty advocacy groups, forming the Small Business Access to Credit Coalition, sent a letter to Senator Landrieu urging that a long-term extension of the Recovery Act provisions be included in one of the Senates job-creating measures. To read the letter, please click here.

Chair Landrieu, along with Ranking Member Olympia Snowe, included an extension of these provisions as part of S. 2869, The Small Business Job Creation and Access to Capital Act, that was voted out of Committee in early December. To read more about the bill, please click here.