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Congress gets back to work

Congress gets back to work today with election-year politics likely to shape a limited agenda. That agenda extends from must-do actions to maybes.

Must do:

• Senate confirmation of Janet Yellen, above, to become chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. A vote is scheduled for today and the Senate is expected to approve President Barack Obama's nominee.

• A short-term spending bill to keep the government running. The current measure ends Jan. 15.

• Raising the nation's borrowing authority, which the Treasury Department says must be resolved by late February or early March.

Votes possible:

• Renewal of the nation's farm bill, the five-year, roughly $500 billion measure. Compromise has been elusive for months as the House and Senate disagree over cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program.

• Legislation to delay increases in flood insurance for policyholders. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and other lawmakers representing coastal states have pushed for the measure.

• An extension of unemployment benefits. About 1.3 million people were cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments ended Dec. 28. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., above, has scheduled a vote tonight on whether to move ahead on legislation to extend jobless benefits for three months.

To be determined:

• An overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. The bipartisan Senate bill that would provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally and tighten border security has stalled in the House. Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, above, has spoken about a piecemeal approach.

Associated Press

Congress gets back to work 01/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 6, 2014 12:41am]
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