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Congress back to business but it’s still not working

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This was Congress’s first opportunity for action since a series of urgent votes to raise the debt ceiling and stave off a fiscal calamity were taken earlier this month. Voters might have expected their elected leaders to appear fresh and ready to redouble efforts to get things done. Instead, this week solidified the sense that any more substantive action this year is a long shot, that the looming 2014 midterm elections make it almost impossible, in this hyperpartisan climate, to cut deals or take votes that would take either party off its script.

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