Budget experts say it's unlikely that Social Security and veterans checks would stop coming during a government shutdown. Bradley C Bower/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Bradley C Bower/AP

Guard Britny Latham is a breakout star on a team that's nationally ranked — and a favorite for an NCAA tournament bid. Matt Kohashi/Gallaudet University Athletics hide caption

itoggle caption Matt Kohashi/Gallaudet University Athletics

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, shown in an undated handout image courtesy of the Giffords For Congress website, was in critical condition Sunday after being shot in the head. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi  prepares to hand the gavel to Speaker-elect John Boehner as the 112th Congress opens. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

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House Minority Leader John Boehner answers questions from reporters at the Capitol with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (left) and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour on Wednesday. Following Tuesday's midterms, Republicans stand ready to take control of the House of Representatives, with Boehner likely becoming the next speaker. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Rep. Carol Shea-Porter rode a Democratic wave that propelled her to office four years ago. Now, says analyst Andrew Smith, "the Republican wave of anger against the Obama administration and general dissatisfaction with the state of the economy may be the wave that takes her out." Cheryl Senter/Pool, AP hide caption

itoggle caption Cheryl Senter/Pool, AP

The DREAM Act has been talked about for more than a decade. At this 2004 rally in Washington, D.C., supporters held a mock graduation ceremony. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Chaplain Barry Black (second from right) prays with his staff before delivering the prayer to open the legislative day of the U.S. Senate. Walter Ray Watson/NPR hide caption

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Alain Filiz shows off some of his credit cards as he pays for items at Lorenzo's Italian Market in Miami in May. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images