Air interdiction agent Jake Linde in 2010, on the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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The nominees: John Brennan (left), who is President Obama's choice to head the CIA; and former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who the president has asked to be secretary of defense. STAFF/Reuters /Landov hide caption

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Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon. Eric Thayer /Reuters /Landov hide caption

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A thumbs-up in thanks: Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on the floor of the House today. Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., addresses reporters about ongoing discussions about the so-called fiscal cliff on Dec. 18. Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, at the White House last month. Toby Jorrin/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama in the Oval Office, where there may be some more late night bargaining sessions before a deal is reached to keep the federal government from going over the "fiscal cliff." (December 2009 file photo.) Pete Souza/The White House hide caption

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Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., speaks during to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 9. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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How long and how late will talks go? (The Capitol dome.) Karen Bleier /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform and the man behind the pledge. Jim Watson /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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