Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., faces reporters at the Capitol after bipartisan Senate opposition blocked swift confirmation for President Barack Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights division on March 5. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited the bad December jobless numbers as a reason Congress should extend federal unemployment insurance. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer, Harry Reid and Richard Durbin (from left) speak after Senate Democrats voted to take the bite out of the filibuster. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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On June 4, President Obama introduces his nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: from right, Patricia Ann Millett, Cornelia T. L. Pillard and Robert L. Wilkins. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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House Speaker John Boehner shows his softer side Thursday before resuming his tough guy role in the fiscal fight. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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People who for years had planned to be boating down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon right about now instead found themselves on Saturday camping in a parking lot because of the government shutdown. Julie Jacobson/AP hide caption

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Veterans who came to Washington Tuesday to see the World War II memorial on the National Mall were able to complete their visit, although the memorial — like other federal museums and memorials — was officially closed to the public. Karen Bleier /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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Jimmy Stewart in a scene from the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. AP hide caption

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