Committe Chairman John Kerry , D-MA, speaks during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Beecroft to be ambassador to Iraq Sept. 19 in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A new report says federal prison officials rarely grant "compassionate release," even for the most gravely ill inmates. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and 20 House members make up the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Here, Menendez speaks in September in Sayreville, N.J. Mel Evans/AP hide caption

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Shoppers line up in a Best Buy store in Rockville, Md., during a Black Friday sale. Thanksgiving weekend sales jumped nearly 13 percent from last year, the National Retail Federation says. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The Capitol on Monday, as Congress prepared to return for its post-election lame duck session. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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