WASHINGTON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday touted three major legislative achievements on economic issues, and called for the Congress to pass a bill to cut taxes and expand lending to small businesses.
During the past week, Obama has signed into law three major bills on economic issues, including wall street reform bill, unemployment benefits extension bill and one to crack down improper payments by the government.
"Taken together, we made enormous progress this week on Wall Street reform, on making sure that we're eliminating waste and abuse in government and in providing immediate assistance to people who are out there looking for work," Obama said in a statement in the White House.
"But ultimately our goal is to make sure that people who are looking for a job can find a job," he said.
The president called for additional steps to further spur the still-sluggish economy. One of the priorities on his economic agenda is to pass the small business bill, which will provide tens of billions of dollars in tax relief for small businesses, while increasing the availability of bank loans to those companies.
Obama reiterated his support for a 30-billion-dollar government fund to help increase lending to small businesses.
The measure, which was favored by the House of Representatives in its version passed in June, was stripped out by the Senate but later emerged as an amendment to the Senate bill.
The measure overcame a Republican filibuster in the Senate Thursday evening by a vote of 60 to 37, and will be added to the Senate bill.
Democrats said the fund will leverage up to 300 billion dollars in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets. But Republicans called the bill another bank bailout that would do little to increase lending to small businesses. They believe that the new stimulus package will add additional burden to the country's already alarming fiscal challenge.