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"Americans don't want Congress passing massive trillion-dollar bills that have been thrown together behind closed doors," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, here with Sen. Lamar Alexander (center), said recently. Big-ticket economic issues face the lame-duck Congress after Thanksgiving. (Associated Press)

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Associated Press photographs House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, walk to a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, after being re-elected as the leaders of the House Democrats, although they will be in the minority in the 112th Congress next year.

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Illustration: Lame Duck Congress by Greg Groesch for The Washington Times

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Associated Press Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, will be among those rallying on the Capitol grounds at noon Monday to inveigh against excess spending by the lame-duck Congress.

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Rep. Ike Skelton, Missouri Democrat, is worried about a chasm developing between the U.S. military and the public after he leaves Congress. (Associated Press)

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke advised Congress earlier this year to avoid big spending cuts now and rein in spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare over the next five to 10 years. (Associated Press)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS "We need a new majority in Congress that will stand up to President Obama and insist that he starts listening to the American people," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said at a rally at a manufacturing facility in his home state.

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Associated Press Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Georgia Republican, seen here in Washington in February, has maintained a high profile since leaving Congress in 1999.

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ASSOCIATED PRESS House Minority Leader John A. Boehner of Ohio addresses the American Enterprise Institute in Washington about ways to make Congress more fiscally responsible.

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In this 1966 image made from file television footage, then North Korea's leader Kim Il Sung, center, delivers speech at North Korea's Congress of Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea. The official Korean Central News Agency announced last week the ruling Workers' Party would hold a conference Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 to select its "supreme leadership body." (AP Photo/APTN)

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In this 1966 image made from file television footage, North Korea's Kim Il Sung delivers speech at North Korea's Congress of Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/APTN)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of Louisiana is accused of taking cash, expensive meals and other gifts from lawyers and a bail bondsman, lying to Congress and filing for bankruptcy under a false name.

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Associated Press House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, cautions Republicans that repealing the new health care law would be easier said than done, even if they retake control of Congress in November.

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Associated Press House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, first entered the House in 1991, and could mark his 20th anniversary there by becoming speaker if his party retakes control of Congress in November.

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Roger Clemens gets ready to tee off on the first hole of the Golf.com World Amateur Handicap Championship at The Pearl golf club Monday, Aug. 30, 2010, in Calabash, N.C. Clemens pleaded not guilty Monday in Washington to charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids or human growth hormone. (AP Photo/Willis Glassgow)

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WAITING FOR CONGRESS: President Obama says Senate Republicans are holding "hostage" a bill aimed at helping small businesses. (Associated Press)

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Retired big-league pitching great Roger Clemens leaves federal court in Washington on Monday after pleading not guilty to charges of lying to Congress about whether he used steroids or human-growth hormone. (Associated Press)

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Dan Rostenkowski was elected to his first term in Congress in 1958. A Democrat, he represents the 8th District on Chicago's Nortwest Side. (AP Photo)

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A press conference sponsored by Alaska Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski was held in support of opening ANWR, the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve, to oil drilling, in the Senate in Congress in Washington DC, on Friday, October 28, 2005. ( Roey Yohai / The Washington Times )

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CONSTITUTION PROJECT Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project, calls the move by Congress "remarkable."