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Sens.-elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (left) and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, both liberal Democrats, are part of the new Congress that saw the loss of centrist veterans in both parties. “Congress seems to be going in the opposite direction of the country, just as the country is screaming for solutions to gridlock,” says Democratic strategist Phil Singer. (Associated Press)

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“Congress has an obligation to find out who made these decisions, and for what purpose, and then hold agencies accountable for any misuse of taxpayer funds.” - Sen Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican (Associated Press)

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“Congress has an obligation to find out who made these decisions, and for what purpose, and then hold agencies accountable for any misuse of taxpayer funds,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican. (Associated Press)

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This undated handout image provided by the Library of Congress shows a letter written by Mary Todd Lincoln to Julia Ann Sprigg, May 29, 1862, which is part of an exhibit at the Library of Congress of letters and diaries saved for 150 years from those who lived through the Civil War that offer a new glimpse at the arguments that split the nation. The Library of Congress holds the largest collection of Civil War documents. It has pulled 200 items from its holdings for a new exhibit to reveal both private and public thoughts from dozens of famous and ordinary citizens who lived in the North and the South. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)

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Civil War Perspective_Reps.jpg

This undated handout image provided by the Library of Congress shows a letter written by Mary Todd Lincoln to Julia Ann Sprigg, May 29, 1862, which is part of an exhibit at the Library of Congress of letters and diaries saved for 150 years from those who lived through the Civil War that offer a new glimpse at the arguments that split the nation. The Library of Congress holds the largest collection of Civil War documents. It has pulled 200 items from its holdings for a new exhibit to reveal both private and public thoughts from dozens of famous and ordinary citizens who lived in the North and the South. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)

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Sen. David Rouzer talks with media outside precinct H02 at the Northeast Regional Library, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012, in Wilmington, N.C. Rouzer is running for a seat in Congress, representing the state's 7th District. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Paul Stephen)

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Sen. David Rouzer talks with media outside precinct H02 at the Northeast Regional Library, Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012, in Wilmington, N.C. Rouzer is running for a seat in Congress, representing the state's 7th District. (AP Photo/The Star-News, Paul Stephen)

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Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett was sent to Congress by Maryland voters 10 times before losing his re-election bid two weeks ago to Democrat John K. Delaney. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett was sent to Congress by Maryland voters 10 times before losing his re-election bid two weeks ago to Democrat John K. Delaney. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

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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)

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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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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)