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In his waning days as a lawmaker, Mr. Bartlett says it is time for members of Congress to learn how to compromise. (U.S. Congress)

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President Barack Obama, flanked by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., speaks to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, as he hosted meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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President Barack Obama pauses as he hosts a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. From left are, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, the president, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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CLIFF_6296_20121116

President Barack Obama, flanked by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, left, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., speaks to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, as he hosted meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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CLIFF_6295_20121116

President Barack Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaks to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, as he hosted a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

CLIFF_6294_20121116

CLIFF_6294_20121116

President Barack Obama pauses as he hosts a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. From left are, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, the president, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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CLIFF_6293_20121116

President Barack Obama acknowledges House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio while speaking to reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, as he hosted a meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress to discuss the deficit and economy. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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capitol_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

After a seven-week pause, Congress returns Tuesday to a crowded agenda of unfinished business overshadowed by the urgent need for President Barack Obama and lawmakers to avert the economic double hit of tax increases and automatic spending cuts, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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After a seven-week pause, Congress returns Tuesday to a crowded agenda of unfinished business overshadowed by the urgent need for President Barack Obama and lawmakers to avert the economic double hit of tax increases and automatic spending cuts, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 7, 2012, about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress. (Associated Press)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks Nov. 7, 2012, at the Capitol in Washington about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress. (Associated Press)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks Nov. 7, 2012, at the Capitol in Washington about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress. (Associated Press)

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fiscal_web_20121108_0001_2_primary_image.jpg

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 7, 2012, about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress. (Associated Press)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, talks about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. The first post-election test of wills could start next week when Congress returns from its election recess to deal with unfinished business ó including a looming "fiscal cliff" of $400 billion in higher taxes and $100 billion in automatic cuts in military and domestic spending to take effect in January if Congress doesn't head them off. Economists warn that the combination could plunge the nation back into a recession. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ohio Republican, talks at the Capitol in Washington on Nov. 7, 2012, about the elections and the unfinished business of Congress. (Associated Press)

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President Obama, here with daughters Sasha and Malia, faces a “fiscal cliff” crisis that must be worked out with Congress before January. (Associated Press)

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Canisius College political science professors Kevin Hardwick (left), a Republican, and Michael Haselswerdt, a Democrat, say there’s a viable chance that the presidential candidates could split the electoral votes 269-269, leaving Congress to elect the nation’s president and the Senate to choose the vice president. (Canisius College)

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Canisius College political science professors Kevin Hardwick (left), a Republican, and Michael Haselswerdt, a Democrat, say there’s a viable chance that the presidential candidates could split the electoral votes 269-269, leaving Congress to elect the nation’s president and the Senate to choose the vice president. (Canisius College)

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** FILE ** Then-Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai puts on his glasses during a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)