(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement after the Obama Administration announced plans to create a new Small Business Lending Fund using capital investments from TARP funds. Senator Murray, a member of the U.S. Senate leadership, has introduced legislation to assist community banks in increasing lending to small businesses and creating jobs by using TARP funds to take toxic assets off the books of smaller banks.

“I’m pleased that the Obama Administration has recognized that community banks have a major role to play in helping to create jobs and grow small businesses, and that we need to ensure their ability to lend to Main St. If small businesses are the driver behind local hiring, then community banks are often the engine that keeps the whole system running. The problem is that they’ve been handcuffed by the economic downturn. Instead of opening up the lending window to local businesses, they’ve been forced to lock up the vault.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Obama Administration to ensure that this effort addresses the root cause of the problem in order to get small businesses the loans they need to expand and create jobs.”

See more information on Senator Murray’s Main Street Lending Restoration Act.