Obama's small business loan program pleases


President Obama today announced a plan to help thaw the credit markets for small businesses by having the government spend $15 billion on securities backed by loans funding these enterprises.

Under terms of the program, the Small Business Administration will temporarily raise guarantees on the agency's 7 (a) program through the rest of the year, or until funds are exhausted, and temporarily eliminate fees for these loans as well. The 21 largest banks receiving government money must report monthly on how much lending they do to small businesses.

"This is the first step in what is going to be a continuing effort to get credit," Obama told a press conference.

Obama and business leaders are at odds over many issues, including legislation backed by Democrats that would make it easier for workers to join unions.