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Congress_Arts.sff.jpg

Actor Kevin Spacey attends an event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 5, 2011, held by Americans for the Arts in conjunction with the Congressional Arts Caucus , calling for Congress to preserve arts funding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner warned of a financial crisis if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling. He projects the U.S. will reach the current ceiling by no later than May 16. (Associated Press)

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Terrorism Trial_Lea.jpg

TURNABOUT: Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. blamed hindrances by members of Congress. (Associated Press)

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Illustration: Shuttered Congress

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20110324-200430-pic-70283236.jpg

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has offered to work with Congress on a law that would let law enforcement delay constitutional Miranda warnings to terror suspects. (Associated Press)

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20110323-203325-pic-542377277.jpg

Members of the Decemberists wrote a letter to Congress asking that funding for noncommercial radio continue, arguing that NPR "airplay was and is essential to the growth of our band and business."

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Rep. Allen B. West, speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, has been in Congress only since January, but there already is talk of a Senate run in 2012 or possibly a spot on the presidential ticket. But first, he says, "I've got to prove myself as a capable legislator, political leader." (Associated Press)

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is seeking to fight the demographic forces hollowing out the Farm Belt and to protect Kansas' political clout in Congress. (Associated Press)

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, center, is flanked by Speaker of the House John Boehner, left, and Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye, right, as she prepares to address a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard shakes hands with Speaker of the House John Boehner, second from left, as Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel Inouye, left, watches, after addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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Sen. Lamar Alexander, Tennessee Republican, left, talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, right, before Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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US Australia_Thir.jpg

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is flanked by Speaker of the House John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican (left) and Senate President Pro Tempore Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat, during her address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday. She is slated to visit the United Nations in New York on Thursday. (Associated Press)

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Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu speaks during a press conference held for the National People's Congress at the media center in Beijing, China, Wednesday, March 9, 2011. Top Chinese health officials have vowed to reduce the dependence of hospitals on drug sales for income _ a key problem that drives up health care costs. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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Hong Kong Asia Air Sh_Lea.jpg

**FILE** A model of the Boeing 747-8 aircraft is on display at the Asian Aerospace Expo and Congress 2011 in Hong Kong on March 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

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APTOPIX China Politic_Lea.jpg

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi gives a press conference during the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday, March 7, 2011. Mr. Yang said there is now a positive atmosphere in relations with the United States following a rocky year in which the two countries feuded over issues ranging from Taiwan to Internet freedom. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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Congress Spending_Thir.jpg

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011, as Congress resumes work on a spending plan to avoid a government shutdown. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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APTOPIX Obama_Thir.jpg

President Obama, speaking at a news conference Tuesday, said he will push again for corporate tax increases that Congress failed to enact because "I continue to believe I'm right." (Associated Press)

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A 1903 advertisement provided by The Advertising Archives via Library of Congress shows a 1903 advertisement for La Parle Obesity Soap, that "never fails to reduce flesh" and was selling at a pricey-for-then $1 a bar. A look back at diet history shows what hasn't changed is the quest for an easy fix. (AP Photo/The Advertising Archives via Library of Congress)

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Rep. Lamar Smith says both sides are "big boys" who didn't need Congress to "referee every business dispute." (Associated Press)

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Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. is calling for increased spending to protect members of Congress and their staffs following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. (Associated Press)