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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to increase the amount of investments small businesses can expense next year.

The White House says Obama wants lawmakers to let small businesses write off up to $250,000 in expenses. Officials say the initiative is included in Obama's proposal earlier this week for Congress to end tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 a year.

Republicans say ending the tax cuts would lead to a tax hike on small businesses owners. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says the president's announcement Wednesday would be "no solace" for small businesses facing a tax increase.

Obama also signed executive orders that the White House says accelerate federal payments, reduce paperwork, and make it easier for small businesses to access loans and tax credits.

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