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Feb 18, 2012 11:18 AM by Matt Stafford

Dems, GOP look to play offense after payroll fight

WASHINGTON (AP) - Congressional Republicans were bruised by the fight over the payroll tax and want to move on to other issues now.

They're promoting legislation that they say would create jobs through transportation and energy projects, lower business taxes and help companies raise capital.

Democrats say they've gained momentum from the payroll tax fight, and want to force Republicans into election-year votes on jobs programs financed by tax increases on the rich.

The parties' legislative strategies underscore the political conclusions each drew from the payroll battle.

Democrats think they won voters' support by seeking to boost taxes on the wealthy and couching it as a fair way to raise federal dollars.

Republicans are eager to return to their home turf of championing smaller government and opposing tax boosts.

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