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Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), left, and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) walk out of the Senate chamber after voting on the U.S. budget bill in Washington in December. The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed a two-year budget deal to ease automatic spending cuts and reduce the risk of another government shutdown, shifting the focus to a spending measure that Congress must pass by Jan. 15. (Reuters photo)

Americans working more for less

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By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress begins what promises to be another highly combative year on Monday with a showdown over a White House-backed bid to renew unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans.

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The battle will kick off a 2014 drive by President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats to stem a growing gap between rich and poor.

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