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In November 1996, an employee at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., hangs a sign explaining the reason for the museum closure. If Congress and the president can't reach an agreement on federal spending by March 4, the U.S. could see a repeat of that government shutdown. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP/Getty Images

Supporters of Wisconsin public employees rally at the United Steelworkers headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

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Gene J. Puskar/AP

Home prices and sales are still depressed, but now mortgage rates are moving up. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Real estate professionals worry that cutting the mortgage tax deduction could put a damper on homeownership. Gene J. Puskar/AP hide caption

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Gene J. Puskar/AP