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President Obama, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at his side, calls on Congress on June 21, 2012, to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling. He is going to make that appeal again Friday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Susan Walsh/AP

California Citizens Redistricting Commission members sign resolutions certifying the final vote for new legislative and congressional maps at the Capitol in Sacramento in 2011. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

President Obama speaks at Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore on May 17. The trip followed a visit by the company's president to Capitol Hill to testify in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House says Obama's speech had nothing to do with Keystone, but environmental groups have been frustrated with his stance on the issue. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee meets to work on immigration legislation on May 9. Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Reynolds/EPA/Landov

The sudden eruption of second-term scandals is likely to cost President Obama his fondest dream for his presidency: the opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

The controversies facing his administration could be creating a stiff headwind for President Obama's second-term agenda. Jack Plunkett/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jack Plunkett/AP

Voters leave the Old Blanco Courthouse in Blanco, Texas, after casting their ballots in November 2012. Democrats hope demographics and a new organizational push give them a brighter future in Texas. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Gay/AP

Deward Cawthon, a plant operator at the Federal Helium Reserve, walks through the Federal Crude Helium Enrichment Unit near Amarillo, Texas, in 2011. Joyce Marshall/MCT/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Joyce Marshall/MCT/Landov

Some Democrats want to amend the immigration bill before the Senate to allow foreign-born same-sex spouses of Americans to qualify for green cards. Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Jason Reed/Reuters/Landov

The Treasury Department announced this week it will pay down some of its debt for the first time in six years. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Winslow of Massachusetts wants same-sex married couples to have the same right to pool their money for political donations as other married couples. But the Federal Election Commission says the Defense of Marriage Act won't allow it. The constitutionality of DOMA is now before the Supreme Court. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Krupa/AP

Senators Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, and Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, discussing their new campaign finance legislation at an April 23, 2013 Capitol Hill news conference. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images