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Biden leaving in middle of budget talks

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. walked out of Thursday's high-stakes negotiations to stop a government shutdown and said the conversations will continue — but he won't actually be part of them since he leaves this weekend for major negotiations with European leaders.

Collective bargaining OK with Fla. governor

Florida Gov. Rick Scott doesn't foresee a battle in his state similar to the one raging in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's proposed legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights for most state employees.

Sen. Scott Brown starts a 16-city book tour this week, promoting "Against All Odds," his memoir revealing his own childhood abuse and hardship. (Harper Collins)

Sen. Brown no 'social crusader'

Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, an original tea party darling who has broken at times with the conservative movement since winning a special election last year, further distanced himself from the tea party Tuesday by saying "I'm not a social crusader."

Thune to stay put in Senate

Sen. John Thune said Tuesday he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination this year, making it likely no sitting senator will be part of the GOP's fray.

Pelosi's constitutional authority

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has submitted her first two bills of the new Congress and she is taking seriously Republicans' new requirement that all bills cite the appropriate constitutional authority that gives lawmakers the power to act.