By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER/ Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – The House has passed a bill authorizing a $30
billion fund for community banks to increase lending to small
Banks that tap the fund must issue preferred stock to the
Treasury Department, paying dividends based on how much they
increase lending to small businesses. The more they lend, the lower
the divided payments.
House Democrats projected that community banks would use the
fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses.
Republicans argued the bill would do little to increase lending
with no guarantee the money would go to small businesses.
The bill is being merged with a package of tax breaks to
encourage investment in small businesses that passed the House
Tuesday. The package now goes to the Senate.