The Obama administration has sent Congress a proposal to create a $30 billion support program to unfreeze credit for the nation's small businesses.
The $30 billion fund would provide support to small and medium-sized banks with assets under $10 billion to encourage them to increase lending to small businesses.
Obama outlined the effort in his State of the Union address in January. Initially the administration planned to obtain the resources by tapping left-over funds in the financial bailout program. Officials said Friday that the new effort has no links to the unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Program.
In remarks to reporters at the White House, Obama says that the program had been expanded to include a new state small business credit that would support efforts by state governments to provide loans to small businesses.