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** FILE ** Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, left, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., right, as they finish a news conference about the fiscal cliff negotiations after a closed-door GOP strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Home for Christmas — Part II

In a reversal, it is House Republicans who have fled Washington to get home for Christmas, while the Senate remains in town Friday to continue working on its business.

**FILE** Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (Associated Press)

Sanford to run for open U.S. House seat

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, whose rising political star suddenly collapsed in a bizarre sex scandal, will reportedly attempt a political comeback starting within the next few days.

Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is the Senate majority leader.

Congress goes home for Christmas?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he plans to send his chamber home for Christmas and then reconvene on Dec. 27 to try to work through the "fiscal cliff" — even as House Republicans said they'll keep their troops in town to try to strike a deal.

NRA breaks silence on Newtown

The National Rifle Association, which had remained largely silent in the wake of the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults last week at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., said Tuesday in a statement the group has provided time for mourning "as a matter of common decency" and that it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."