The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote this afternoon on its version of a bill to bring home U.S. troops from Iraq. Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell said this morning he plans to vote for it. "It will encourage the administration to start bringing the troops home," Boswell says.
The Democratic Congressman says the measure contains funding for the troops as well as for some other things like veterans healthcare. He says it’s a "very important supplemental" and he intends to vote for it. Boswell acknowledges criticism about other funding that was inserted into the bill, unrelated to military funding.
"Some people were talking about why would spinach and peanuts and the Great Lakes Aquaculture be in there," Boswell acknowledged, but he says those were removed in a conference committee. Boswell says the bill still contains money for veterans healthcare, the ongoing base-closure project aimed at cutting federal spending, and mainly, it funds the troops. Boswell says it contains a little more money for that than the president asked for.
Boswell says the House also is working today on HR-1332, the Small Business Lending Improvement Act. He calls it a bipartisan bill that will spur economic growth and create jobs in Iowa. "Small business in America are often the catalysts for technological innovation, and this bill strengthens access to capital programs for small businesses." The bill creates a Rural Outreach Program that provides an 85-percent guarantee on loans of 250-thousand dollars or less.
Boswell says it also contains loans for businesses owned by women, veterans, socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, or those in low and moderate-income areas. Boswell says veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan can get loans under this bill to start or expand a business, and also helps businesses planning to open medical, dental or psychiatric offices in areas that have a shortage of medical professionals.