The Hill’s Morning Report — Sponsored by American Express — U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2018 budget includes $1.5 billion for small businesses.

The White House says the budget will help ensure “that small businesses can thrive and prosper while preserving the tax benefits and economic growth they need to stay competitive in the marketplace.”

The president’s budget calls for $3 billion in grants to help small businesses that are already struggling.

In a statement, the Small Business Administration called the White House’s budget proposal “outrageous and irresponsible.”

The agency says it’s “critical” for the small business community to get involved in the process.

“Small businesses have long been at the center of the economic recovery, but it is important that Congress, rather than using this budget as a distraction, support small business and help them prosper while maintaining tax relief for hardworking Americans,” said Jennifer Hall, the agency’s assistant administrator for economic development.

As part of the budget, the administration is also making $500 million available to small businesses to “ensure they can continue to thrive and provide support for their workers.”

It’s also proposing a small business loan program for small business owners to provide loans to companies that have already secured small business loans from the government.

The Small Business Investment Corporation will be the largest loan provider for small employers, according to the budget.

Small business owners can apply for a loan through the Small Employer Loan Program, which is currently available for companies with up to 50 employees, and can provide loans up to $1 million.