Even when times are good, some experts say, members of Congress can't expect much better than about 40 percent approval. That would still be a vast improvement over where it stands today.
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House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, pictured in July, had predicted that Democrats would be forced to accept the package or face gridlock that would lead to "an increase in taxes on working Americans."
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Job seekers wait in line before entering a job fair in San Francisco. Private employers added 50,000 jobs in November, down significantly from the 160,000 the previous month.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion stemming from encounters with two women during a trip to Sweden this summer.
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted the release of more than 250,000 confidential documents by WikiLeaks. She said Monday that such leaks pose "real risks to real people ... and often to the very people who have dedicated their own lives to protecting others."
This picture taken Tuesday by a South Korean tourist shows huge plumes of smoke rising from Yeonpyeong island in the disputed waters of the Yellow Sea after an exchange of fire between North and South Korea.
Haitian refugees at a tent city in Port-au-Prince await word Wednesday of Tropical Storm Tomas' arrival. The Caribbean storm, which lashed Barbados and St. Lucia, is expected to hit Haiti as soon as Friday.
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