RHETORIC VS. REALITY ON SMALL BUSINESSES…. In their “Pledge to America,” House Republicans reference small businesses 18 times. In case that was too subtle, John Boehner & Co. unveiled their plan at a small business in a D.C.-area suburb, suggesting it’s outlets like the Tart Lumber Company that would benefit from the GOP agenda.

It’s a curious argument. Over the last 20 months, Democrats have approved eight separate measures intended to help small businesses, and Republicans opposed all of them.

Indeed, in an ironic twist, House GOP leaders left a small business this morning to hustle back to Capitol Hill in order to vote against small businesses.

One week after the Senate passed a $42 billion bill aimed at helping small businesses, the House voted Thursday to send the bill to President Obama’s desk.

The measure, which passed the House in a 237 to 187 vote, is aimed at creating 500,000 jobs, according to a Senate summary of the bill.

Of the 175 House Republicans to vote on the small business incentives bill, 174 voted against it. The GOP likes to talk about helping these entrepreneurs; it’s the follow through where the party runs into trouble.

Keep in mind, there are all kinds of small businesses that “put hiring, supply buying and real estate expansion on hold,” just waiting for this bill to pass. That didn’t seem to sway the congressional minority.

It’s especially interesting when one considers that Tart Lumber, which hosted the Republican gathering this morning, will now under the Democratic proposal be able to write off its first $500,000 in equipment investment next year, have access to expanded capital through the Small Business Lending Fund, have access to new loans through SBA lending programs, and investors in firms like Tart Lumber would receive zero capital gains on their investments.

Oh, and in case it matters, the bill is fully paid for, giving Republicans one fewer excuses for opposition. Of course, they opposed it anyway.

The legislation is now headed to President Obama’s desk. He’s expected to sign it into law on Monday.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.