Obama urges GOP to let small business bill pass

WASHINGTON - (AP) - President Barack Obama is urging SenateRepublicans to end a standoff on a measure aimed at helping smallbusinesses.

Obama told a Friday news conference that a "partisan minority"is holding up action on a bill that he says would give smallbusinesses the relief they need to hire and grow.

He praised Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich for saying thathe wouldn't support the blockade, and for saying that with thecountry hurting, it's no time to play games.

Obama says he "could not agree more."

The bill calls for about $12 billion in tax breaks for smallbusinesses. It also includes a $30 billion fund to encourage banksto lend to small business.

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