Chris Wallace asks Mitch McConnell if he's worried about his party being labeled the "Party of No" after blocking lending assistance for small business, voting against extending unemployment benefits and voting against financial regulatory reform.
It's pretty bad when even Chris Wallace is questioning whether this is the best strategy for Republicans if they're hoping to make gains in the mid-term elections. Here's how McConnell responds when Wallace presses him on why the Republicans decided to block the small business lending bill.
McConnell: That is another TARP. You know, we tried that once under the previous administration and under this one. Basically the lending facility portion of that bill is TARP III or the son of TARP.
Wallace: But you're... because there have been some questions on whether this is a procedural issue... you're now saying that Republicans are against boosting lending assistance to small businesses?
McConnell: This particular provision is another TARP. It puts the government in the position of taking equity positions in businesses. Look... look at what they've done. They're running banks, insurance companies, car companies and nationalizing the student loan business, taking over health care.
We don't need the government taking equity positions, ownership positions in any more private sector businesses. That's not the way out of this. The way out of this is to kill this job killing tax increases coming that they advocate that is going to affect 50% of small business income and 25% of our work force.
That's going to be their plan in September to raise taxes in the middle of a recession.
There are a number of notable differences between the two bills including:
- TARP was passed as an emergency measure with little oversight by the legislative branch. The small business lending bill has been passed through committee and scored by the Congressional Budget Office.
- TARP involved over $1.61 trillion of government funds. It is therefore 53 times as large as the small business lending bill.
- TARP funds were almost exclusively given to large banks and corporations like AIG. The funds effectively "bailed out" those companies. The small business lending funds, by limitations put within the bill, go exclusively to the kind of "mom and pop" stores found on Main Street as opposed to Wall Street.
Despite these facts, Republicans always seem to find a reason to oppose proposals from Democrats. In November voters will have a chance to decide whether they agree with the GOP justifications for their most recent obstructionism.