UPDATE 1-Obama urges Senate to pass small business bill

(Updates with quotes, details)

WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama on
Thursday urged the U.S. Senate to pass a stalled small business
lending bill, saying recent weak economic data underscores even
more the need for the legislation.

Obama was speaking after new data showed U.S. claims for
unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high
last week, dealing a fresh blow to the frail economy.

He again lambasted Republicans in the Senate for repeatedly
blocking the bill, saying their actions were obstructing vital
aid for small businesses.

“This is a bill that makes sense and normally we would
expect Democrats and Republicans to join together,” Obama said
at the White House. “Unfortunately, a partisan minority in the
Senate so far has refused to allow this jobs bill to come up
for a vote.”

Republicans are upset that Democrats shut them out during
discussions to amend the package, which they say is another
example of too much government spending.

The bill provides for a $30 billion fund to invest in
community banks to bolster lending. It also would provide tax
credits and a limited capital gains exemption.

Small businesses, which account for two-thirds of jobs
created in the United States, have been hit hard by the credit
crunch, making it difficult for them to expand.

“They need help and if we want this economy to create more
jobs more quickly we need to help them,” Obama said.
(Reporting by Deborah Charles and Ross Colvin; Editing by
Doina Chiacu)

UPDATE 1-Obama urges Senate to pass small business bill