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Lending

Effort to ease credit crunch set

October 21, 2009|Times Wire Reports

President Obama wants smaller community banks to have greater access to the government's $700-billion financial rescue fund to assist small businesses suffering from a prolonged credit crunch.

Obama today plans to announce initiatives designed to increase lending, including a request that Congress increase caps for existing Small Business Administration loans, the administration said.

The new effort comes as the administration is under pressure from liberals to shift the massive bailout fund's focus away from helping big financial institutions and toward homeowners and small businesses. But it also comes as Republicans press Obama to end the rescue program and use bank repayments to reduce the national debt.

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