Showing that they can work together on occasion, House lawmakers have overwhelmingly passed legislation making it easier for small businesses and startups to raise capital to grow and hire new workers.

The package of a half-dozen measures has the backing of President Barack Obama and has a good chance of becoming law. Senate Democrats say they will offer a similar package soon.

Even with broad support, Republicans and Democrats were split on the bills' significance.

Republicans praised it as a jobs-producing package showing they can work with the White House. Democrats argued that it will have only a minimal effect on employment and say Republicans needed to show they can accomplish something in an otherwise do-nothing Congress.


(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)