Cantwell Hails President Obama's Commitment to Help Community Banks, Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC –Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) issued the following statement today following President Obama’s State of the Union address: 


“President Obama’s commitment to use $30 billion in funding returned to the government by the big banks under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help community banks get capital flowing to small businesses is vitally important for Washington state. I have been urging the administration to take this step, and I am glad the president is listening.


“I have been meeting with small business owners and community bankers all over Washington state and they have made clear how important it is to get capital flowing again. This will be a big shot in the arm for our state economy. The president’s community bank program puts the focus where it belongs – on small business. That’s where the job creation comes from. This is a very concrete idea that we can implement right away.


 “While helping our local communities and small businesses, we must strengthen regulation on Wall Street to end the unrestricted speculation and profiteering that has weakened our economy and hurt American workers.


“I applaud the president for renewing his commitment to climate change legislation, which would stimulate investment in clean energy technology. And he is right to emphasize bipartisanship. My climate proposal is cosponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), and I am advancing banking reform legislation cosponsored by Senator John McCain (R-AZ). 


“The president made clear that we have come too far to walk away from real health care reform that preserves quality, reduces cost and expands coverage. We will not abandon this effort, even as focus in these difficult economic times on putting Americans back to work. The health care crisis and the economic crisis are related, and I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues, and my fellow Washingtonians on these critical issues.”