WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama traveled to New Jersey on Wednesday to make another pitch for his economic plan to create more jobs and small business loans.
At a Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., Obama addressed small business owners, hoping to stir up support for his small business lending bill that's struggling in the Senate.
"Everywhere I go I hear from small business owners who simply cannot get the credit they need to hire and expand," the president said. "And we've been hearing from smaller community banks that they want to lend to these folks but need more capital to do it."
The measure would create a $30 billion fund to help those community banks increase lending to small businesses.
It also includes $12 billion in tax breaks - something that has raised red-flags among Republican lawmakers.
Some businessmen have also expressed concerns about the measure. They fear that if they take some of these loans, there may be government strings which could be later attached.
Meanwhile, there's also talk among top Democrats about raising taxes in January on families and small businesses making at least $200,000.
Critics claim such a move would hurt small businesses and prevent them from hiring people at a time when voters say jobs are the top priority. Unemployment is still 9.5 percent, and the economy is showing much improvement.
An Associated Press survey of economists found a theme in their forecasts.
According to the AP report:
- Economic growth will remain slow deep into next year, because consumers are hesitant to spend and employers reluctant to hire in a climate of economic uncertainty.
- It will likely be 2015 before the unemployment rate falls to normal levels, which are around five percent.
Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, R-Ky., said he'd like to continue working on the small business lending bill saying, "somewhere in all of this, is a bi-partisan bill."