The Morning Line: Taking Care of Small Business

BY Terence Burlij  July 28, 2010 at 9:05 AM EST

President Obama will meet with small business owners at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J., this afternoon, hoping to put a human face on his effort to get the Senate to pass a small business jobs bill before the August recess.

morningline.jpgThe bill includes a $30 billion lending fund for community banks and some $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses.

Most Republicans have remained opposed to the measure, comparing it to the 2008 bank bailouts.

After meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday, Mr. Obama said, “We shouldn’t let America’s small businesses be held hostage to partisan politics — and certainly not at this critical time.”

The president described the provisions in the bill as “the kind of common-sense steps that folks from both parties have supported in the past.”

Mr. Obama’s visit to New Jersey coincides with the release of a mid-year economic report by the National Small Business Association, which shows “41 percent of small businesses are unable to garner adequate financing.”

THE WAITING GAME

From courtrooms in Arizona and Illinois to the hallways outside the ethics committee in the House of Representatives, we await the next twists and turns in the immigration battle, the Blagojevich trial, and the Rangel case.

With the high profile Arizona immigration law set to take effect in less than 24 hours, all eyes are on Judge Susan Bolton to see if she will rule to grant the federal government’s request for an injunction which would prevent the law from taking effect.

“Protesters who fear racial profiling are expected to descend on Arizona, intent on getting arrested for not carrying identification that proves their citizenship. Supporters of the law, meanwhile, will keep a careful eye on police activities to detect any agency that may have instructed officers to not enforce the law to the fullest extent,” reports the Arizona Republic’s J.J. Hensley.

In Washington, Rep. Charlie Rangel told ABC News his lawyers are still talking with the ethics committee in hopes of reaching a settlement before tomorrow’s expected organizational session of how a Rangel trial would likely proceed.

Democratic allies of Speaker Nancy Pelosi continue to hope a deal that resolves the Rangel mess without a public trial is the eventual outcome here.

And Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former governor of Illinois, awaits the jury’s verdict after his lawyer presented a colorful closing argument.

MARCHING ORDERS

As House Democrats gather this week for one final pep rally of sorts before they head home for the August recess and to begin the campaign season in earnest, they will hear their leaders put forth seven reasons Democrats believe point to why they will keep the majority in November.

  1. Elections are a choice between two candidates
  2. The NRCC has not put enough seats into play
  3. The NRCC and Republican candidates can not afford to compete
  4. The NRCC has recruited fatally flawed candidates
  5. Republicans have a Tea Party problem
  6. The NRCC has yet to show that they can win one hard election, not to mention 39 of them
  7. Democrats are prepared

According to talking points being distributed to House Democrats and obtained by “The Morning Line,” it is that second bullet point about the playing field that may provide the majority party with its best line of defense.

Per the memo:

“Republicans will need to win 39 seats to take back the House. Democrats will win at least four Republican seats (the best opportunities include: LA-02, HI-01, IL-10, DE-AL, FL-25). As a result, the real number of seats Republicans will have to pick up to win a majority is at least 43. To win 43 seats, the NRCC would need to put 70 to 80 seats in play. The NRCC have simply not put that many Republicans seats in play and do not have the resources or caliber of candidates to do so.”

This effort to fire up to the troops comes as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has revealed additional advertising time on hold in an attempt to widen the playing field beyond just protecting vulnerable Democratic incumbents.

GATOR BITE

Rep. Kendrick Meek and businessman Jeff Greene are turning up the heat in their race for Florida’s Democratic Senate nomination.

Each candidate has released a campaign ad in recent days attacking his opponent. Meek went first, slamming Greene, a real estate investor, for helping to “fuel the economic meltdown” by “betting middle class families would lose their homes.”

The ad closes with the line: “Betting on suffering does matter.”

Greene followed with a spot called “Crooked,” which opens with the announcer asking, “How corrupt is Kendrick Meek?”

The ad then says Meek “pushed the subprime loans that wrecked our economy” and “lobbied for big tobacco against children’s health care.”

Primary day in Florida is Aug. 24.

David Chalian contributed to this report.

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