Senate lawmakers have approved an extra $100 million in funding for federal lending and assistance programs for small businesses.
The funds, which would boost the Bush Administration's proposed budget for the Small Business Administration for 2009, provide additional resources for the agency's lending and oversight efforts, along with business development programs for women, veterans and minorities, and other initiatives.
"By refusing to fund important small-business programs the Bush Administration has starved entrepreneurs of the resources they need to grow their firms," Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said in a statement.
Kerry said the added funding will create more jobs and help get the economy back on track.
House and Senate appropriations committees are expected to take up the spending bills at the end of the month.