WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats are likely to win a key vote today that would clear the way for a bill to create a $30 billion government fund to help small businesses that need cash.
Republican Sen. George Voinovich says he'll now support the measure, joining 57 Democrats and two independents to break a GOP filibuster. In July Voinovich sided with GOP leaders.
If the filibuster is broken today the Senate would vote on the measure later this week. Then the House would vote on it a final time and send the legislation to President Barack Obama.
The bill would help community banks with less than $10 billion in assets lend more money to small businesses. The money would be combined with about $12 billion in tax breaks for both large and small businesses.
Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans and help loosen tight credit markets. But some Republicans say that's like a bailout.