What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : Expanding the number of federal loan programs available to small businesses (H.R. 1332)/Motion to recommit with instructions make small businesses determined by the Small Business Administration to have been adversely affected by the minimum wage hike eligible for federal loans (2007 house Roll Call 262)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
Expanding the number of federal loan programs available to small businesses (H.R. 1332)/Motion to recommit with instructions make small businesses determined by the Small Business Administration to have been adversely affected by the minimum wage hike eligible for federal loans
house Roll Call 262     Apr 25, 2007
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This vote was on an amendment to a bill to expand the number of federal loans that are available to small businesses and reduced the loan costs to borrowers. Republicans motioned to send the bill back to committee with instructions to add language to allow small businesses that the Small Business Administration (SBA) determines have been adversely affected by the recent minimum wage hike to qualify for a federal loan program called Community Express.

Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La.) offered the motion to recommit to make what he said was "an important point about how we treat small businesses, the engine that drives much of our economy and creates many of our jobs in this country."

The underlying legislation to which Republicans were seeking to amend would make permanent a the Community Express Program, which provides loans up to $250,000 to businesses which are owned by groups such as women, minorities, veterans, or socially or economically disadvantaged individuals. According to McCrery, the bill does not define what it means for a business owner to be "economically disadvantaged.''

McCrery's proposal would require the SBA to consider as economically disadvantaged "those business owners that can demonstrate that they have been adversely impacted by an increase in the federal minimum wage."

Republicans said they offered the measure as a way to compensate for the fact that the House did not approve a tax relief package to small businesses most impacted by an increase in the minimum wage. (See Roll Call 16.)

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) responded that if McCrery was "so concerned about the state of small businesses in our country," why has he consistently voted against amendments she has proposed in the past to reduce the costs of the small business loan program?

"The problem with the gentleman from Louisiana is that he doesn't believe that the minimum wage should be raised, and that 10 years is not long enough," Velazquez continued, referring to the last time the minimum wage was raised. "So by supporting this motion to recommit, you are voting against providing relief to small businesses. What we are doing with this bill is reducing up to $50,000 in fees to borrowers in this country. That is real relief."

A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure.

Republican support for the motion to recommit was unanimous, and two Democrats joined them in voting for it. It did not have the votes to pass, however, and a motion to send a bill expanding the number of federal loans available to small businesses and reducing the fees for borrowers back to committee with instructions to allow businesses "adversely affected" by the recent minimum wage hike to qualify for a special program for certain businesses failed on an almost party-line vote. By a vote of 197 to 224, the House rejected the measure, and the underlying legislation moved towards a final up-or-down vote without the amendment.

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