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Bloomberg Vice President Joseph R. Biden (second from right) speaks Thursday during debt-reduction talks with Hill leaders. Also taking part were Rep. James E. Clyburn (fourth from right), South Carolina Democrat; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (third from right), Virginia Republican; Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (right), Hawaii Democrat; and Office of Management and Budget chief Jacob Lew (foreground).

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BLOOMBERG Jerry Brown, governor of California, says he still has time to get a referendum on the ballot in June to extend $9.3 billion in tax increases, the cornerstone of his effort to balance the state's budget.

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BLOOMBERG Cali Simpson wraps herself in holiday lights Thursday upon arriving at Chicago's O'Hare airport from Denver. Travelers generally were faring well.

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BLOOMBERG "This compromise was to help people who were drowning," said Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., defending the compromise President Obama made with congressional Republicans to extend Bush-era tax cuts. The bill also included an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of Americans.

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BLOOMBERG Erskine Bowles (right) and Alan Simpson, co-chairmen of the president's deficit commission, challenged the panel's members to put aside partisan differences and agree to its tax and budget recommendations.

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BLOOMBERG Ben S. Bernanke, Federal Reserve chairman, speaks at the "Mortgages and the Future of Housing Finance" symposium in Arlington, Va. He said the central bank and other regulators are examining financial firms' home-foreclosure practices.

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Bloomberg Jacob Lew, nominee to be director of the Office of Management and Budget, "lacked sufficient concern for the host of economic challenges confronting the Gulf Coast," a Louisiana senator said in explaining why she would hold up his nomination.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, listens to Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty, after Bloomberg announced his endorsement of Fenty's second term, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, in Washington.

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Bloomberg "I am also eligible to receive discretionary compensation for 2008," Jacob J. "Jack" Lew wrote.

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BLOOMBERG NEWS Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's prime minister, who also heads the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, welcomed the flexibility decision by China about the yuan.

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** FILE ** Rep. Ike Skelton, Missouri Democrat (Bloomberg News)

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**FILE** Sen. Daniel K. Akaka, Hawaii Democrat (Bloomberg News)

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BLOOMBERG NEWS SNOW DAY: Workers shovel snow off the steps of the U.S. Capitol building in the District on Wednesday. A second blizzard in a week pounded the region creating near-whiteout conditions that dumped record levels of snow at area airports.

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Sen. George V. Voinovich, Ohio Republican (Bloomberg News)

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Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican (Bloomberg News)