Washington Report: Updates From the Capitol

Rand Paul backtracks on race comments; Small business bill advances

What Will Washington Be Talking About Next Week

National Small Business Week, an annual event sponsored by the SBA that honors entrepreneurs and provides a series of educational forums kicks off next week. Featured speakers will include SBA administrator Karen Mills, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Jobs, jobless benefits, and black farmers. Democrats will take up a $190 billion package jointly crafted by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-Michigan). It reportedly includes a $1 billion summer jobs package that the Congressional Black Caucus has been fighting for as well as funding to compensate black farmers and a provision to extend unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of June.

Financial regulatory reform. Obama will soon be able to tick another big win off his list. Late Thursday night the Senate finally passed its version of a Wall Street reform bill with a vote of 59-39. It now must be reconciled with the House bill. But if the final version doesn’t include the Office of Minority Inclusion, which some experts say will render the bill useless in terms of protecting the interest of minority consumers and contractors, expect there to be a bit of a rumble.

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