ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, July 30 (UPI) -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday pressed Republicans to pass a stimulus bill that would cut capital gains taxes for small U.S. businesses.
Asked what response President Barack Obama would have to the gross domestic product figures released Friday -- showing growth at 2.4 percent in the second quarter -- Gibbs said the administration would study the numbers. But he added, "I'd say the first thing that needs to happen to address the statistics today is for the Republicans in the U.S. Senate to stop playing politics … allowing small businesses to deduct more from their taxes when they invest in new equipment and to provide community banks with the capital that small businesses need."
Senators earlier in the week rejected a bill that would allow for $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses and create a $30 billion loan program to be managed by the Treasury Department.
The vote went strictly along party lines, except for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev, who voted no to preserve the option of seeking a second vote.
Republicans said they were for the bill, but could not support it with the limited number of amendments Democrats were requiring -- three.
Gibbs did a little taunting on the subject.
"Virtually every time somebody puts a tape recorder in their faces about how much they want to help small business, now it's time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk," he said.
"I doubt many of us thought we'd live long enough to watch Republicans stop cutting capital gains taxes on small business," he added.
Gibbs made his remarks en route to Detroit aboard Air Force One.