The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Thursday that would open up credit to small businesses.
The measure, which includes a $30 billion government fund and tax provisions to make more credit available, passed in a 61-38 vote.
"This small business jobs bill would give small businesses $12 billion in tax cuts. It would increase small business lending. It would help small business owners to get private capital to finance expansion and hire new workers," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
"And all these things would help small businesses to create as many as a half a million jobs," he said.
Most Republicans oppose the bill, saying it's just another government bailout. They warned it would prompt banks to lend to borrowers who are bad credit risks.
The president said if Congress can agree on this measure, it should be able to agree on extending Bush-era tax cuts.
The bill's passage gives Democrats a much-sought political victory with less than seven weeks to go before Election Day.