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Election-Year Politics Shape Congressional Agenda

Posted at: 01/05/2014 9:48 AM



WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress returns to work Monday with election-year politics certain to shape an already limited agenda.

Republicans intend to focus on every facet of President Barack Obama's health care law. They see a political boost in its problem-plagued rollout.

First up in the House, according to Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is legislation addressing security of personal data.

Democrats will press to raise the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and extend unemployment benefits. It's an effort to cast Democrats as more concerned than Republicans with the less fortunate.

The issues resonate with liberals, the core Democratic voters crucial in low-turnout midterm elections.

The Senate has scheduled a vote Monday on a three-month extension of unemployment benefits.

A vote also is expected on Janet Yellen to become Federal Reserve chairman.

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