WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans cast themselves as champions of small business as they pushed a bill toward House passage Thursday that would cut taxes for nearly every employer in the country. Democrats called the measure merely the latest GOP effort to funnel federal help to those who are already successful.

The GOP-run House was ready to approve the legislation in an election-year vote lacking either suspense or any expectation that the plan would become law. The bill will die in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and for good measure the White House has threatened a veto by President Barack Obama, saying the proposal is far too broad and generous to the wealthy.

Its ultimate fate, though, was beside the point. With the economy and jobs the unrivaled top issues in this year's presidential and congressional campaigns, both parties were using the battle to underscore that they would make things better for voters while the other side would not.

"Congressional Democrats think we can tax our way to improve our economy," which will never work, said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas. "Congressional Republicans, once again today, will stand with small business across the nation."

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