WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's election-year jobs agenda suffered a new setback Thursday when Senate Republicans blocked a bill creating a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's election-year jobs agenda suffered a new setback Thursday when Senate Republicans blocked a bill creating a $30 billion government fund to help open up lending for credit-starved small businesses.

The fund would be available to community banks with less than $10 billion in assets to help them increase lending to small businesses. The bill would combine the fund with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses.

Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans, helping to loosen tight credit markets. Some Republicans, however, likened it to the unpopular bailout of the financial industry.

Democrats had wanted to pass the bill before Congress leaves town for summer vacation, but that won't happen with the House scheduled to adjourn today. The Senate is in session for another week, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said there would be no more votes until Monday.

Congressional Democrats started the year with ambitious plans to pass a series of bills designed to create jobs, but they have little to show for it just a few months before midterm elections.

Congress has extended unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for long stretches and passed a measure that gives tax breaks to businesses that hire unemployed workers. But many other initiatives stalled, in part because of concerns they would add to the growing national debt.

Obama lobbied for the small business lending bill during a trip Wednesday to Edison, N.J. But Senate Democrats fell short of the necessary 60 votes Thursday to end a Republican filibuster.

The vote was 58 to 42, with all 41 Republicans voting to continue the filibuster. Much of the bill had bipartisan support, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Democrats were blocking GOP amendments.