Alan Gross (center), recently freed after being held in Cuba, speaks with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly before the start of the State of the Union speech in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol. At left is Judy Gross. Rob Carr/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama receives a standing ovation as he prepares to deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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Speaker John Boehner is handed the gavel by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after being re-elected for a third term to lead the 114th Congress. Pablo Martinez Monsivais /AP hide caption

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The Capitol's dome and Christmas tree are illuminated on Dec. 11 as Congress worked to pass a $1.1 trillion U.S. government-wide spending bill and avoid a government shutdown. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Rep. John Dingell, seen here in June, was admitted to a hospital Friday as a precautionary measure. The Democrat is retiring as the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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Black congressional staffers hold their hands up as they pose for a group photo during a walkout on on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Thursday, in a protest over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk Thursday. The House approved a massive spending bill just hours before a midnight deadline to fund the federal government. Shawn Thew/EPA/Landov hide caption

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Protesters of varied stripes and political affiliations gathered outside the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative where negotiators from 12 nations were meeting to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership. James Clark/NPR hide caption

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Republican Senator-elect Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he expects his party to challenge the president immediately on immigration, and that he hopes President Obama's Defense and Justice nominees will be acceptable to both parties. Davis Turner/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama is expected to announce steps today that would provide temporary relief to some of the 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. Republicans are warning him against acting unilaterally on the issue. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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With the enthusiastic backing of his caucus, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., was reelected as the leader of the Senate Democrats this week following devastating midterm losses. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, one day after Republicans seized control of the U.S. Senate and captured their biggest majority in the House in more than 60 years. Larry Downing/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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