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Small Business

Sen. Harry Reid

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Mr. President, this week the Senate has demonstrated that when Democrats and Republicans cooperate, we are capable of achieving significant results for this country. We passed a transportation bill that will create or save almost 3 million jobs--and these are American jobs--and rebuild our Nation's crumbling infrastructure. Yesterday we chartered a course to confirm 14 new judges in the short term and a path for getting more done following that, and this is important because our Federal courts are overworked and understaffed.

We agreed that Congress should continue its work to improve the economy. To that end, the Senate will move today to a piece of legislation that will improve innovators' access to capital and give startups the flexibility they need to hire and to grow. This bill passed the House by an overwhelming margin. President Obama supports this measure, and both Democrats and Republicans are eager to get to work to pass it next week.

In addition to the small business capital legislation, Democrats will also advance a proposal to help American businesses sell more of their products overseas. Reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank--or Ex-Im Bank, as it is called--will help small businesses export globally. Not only will it help small businesses, it will help large businesses such as Caterpillar and Boeing. These companies really need this to continue the job creation they have been involved in now for the last several years. As an example, last year Ex-Im Bank financed almost 300,000 private sector jobs at more than 3,600 different American companies in more than 2,000 communities throughout America. Foreign governments often provide the financing for companies that compete with American businesses. We need to do this to be more competitive. Ex-Im Bank levels the playing field by being available to help American exporters when private lending is not available. Unless we reauthorize the bank, it will hit its lending limit this month, eliminating support for American exporters.

The Export-Import Bank has always had strong bipartisan support, and the Democrats' legislation reauthorizing this measure has the firm backing of the Chamber of Commerce and organized labor. This is a strong combination that equals one result; that is, jobs.

Advancing these two items--the Ex-Im Bank and the small business capital bill--will continue the important bipartisan work we have done this week to get our economy back on track.

I am pleased that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have been able to find common ground. President Franklin Roosevelt said:

Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we

I think we have shown this week that achievement comes when Members all strive, as President Roosevelt said, not to compete but to cooperate.