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** FILE ** Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis announces in April 2011 that he's running for the New Jersey state Senate. (AP Photo)

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Former interim Sen. George LeMieux, Florida Republican, on Tuesday announced a bid to return to the Senate. (Associated Press)

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National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman and Peter Pantuso, president of the American Bus Association, testified Wednesday at a Senate transportation subcommittee hearing on improving the safety of passengers on the country's large buses, or motorcoaches. Crashes in the past decade have taken dozens of lives. (Associated Press)

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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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Opponents of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill, including C.J. Terrell demonstrate outside the senate parlor at the Wisconsin State Capitol Building as legislators inside voted to move forward on an amended version of the controversial bill Wednesday, March 9, 2011. The new bill removes the fiscal elements from the bill and strips public employees of collective bargaining rights. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)

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Tears roll down the face of Liz Sanger of Madison, Wis., after the state Senate passed the budget repair bill following a meeting of a state Legislature conference committee at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., Wednesday evening, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King)

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Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., center, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, left, arrive to vote on the spending bill in the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. The Senate rejected competing Republican and Democratic spending bills in a bit of Capitol theater designed to demonstrate that the combatants must meet somewhere in the middle. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Spending Showdown_Live.jpg

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (second from left), North Dakota Republican, and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (second from right), Massachusetts Democrat, leave the Senate chamber at the Capitol Wednesday after voting on the spending bill. Late Wednesday, the Senate rejected competing Republican and Democratic spending bills. (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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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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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to reporters Monday regarding a letter he received from the state Senate's minority leader on the political standoff. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Sen. Robert Casey Jr., D-Pa., is seen during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, in this Feb. 3, 2011, file photo. The Senate passed a resolution this week urging an international probe into war crimes allegations. Casey, who introduced the Senate resolution, said that a "state of denial" exists in the Sri Lankan government that is "not helpful" in achieving accountability for the bloodshed. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Both supporters and opponents of Senate Bill 5 wait in line to enter the general Senate session Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio. The Senate passed the bill that would strip public employees of collective bargaining rights. (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, speaks to reporters after a Democratic policy luncheon on Tuesday in Washington. The Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a two-week continuing resolution passed Tuesday by the House. (Associated Press)

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MD XGR Gay Marriage_Live.jpg

Maryland State Sen. Allan Kittleman, Howard County Republican, speaks Thursday on the state Senate floor in Annapolis, Md., in support of the gay marriage bill as State Sen. Nancy Jacobs, Harford County Republican, sits at left. (Associated Press)

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Former Sen. Judd Gregg said, "the House is much closer to the intensity of feeling in the American public on ... spending and deficit and debt than the Senate is." (Associated Press)

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Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has declined to pursue a presidential bid next year and will remain in the Senate where he's serving his second term. (Associated Press)

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Union member Cliff Wolfe of Battleground, Ind., protests several anti-labor bills outside the Senate chambers at the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Indianapolis Star, Matt Detrich)

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House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, had "no comment" when asked by reporters over the weekend if he would seek to get the Senate to restore funding for a defense contract in his congressional district that was cut in the House. (Associated Press)