“New Congress takes office Thursday, will tackle old Congress’ leftovers”


By Ben Brumfield

(CNN) — A new Congress takes office Thursday, and many of the same difficult issues that snagged the last one will fall into its lap.

President Barack Obama has signed into lawbill to avert the fiscal cliff, a deal worked out after lengthy, grinding friction between Democrats and Republicans. The political theatrics kept Americans and people around the world on pins and needles over how the outcome would affect the shaky global economy.

But the sequester — a set of automatic spending cuts of up to 10 percent to the budgets of most agencies and programs — lies ahead. It has been pushed back to the end of February.

At about the same time, a decision on the debt ceiling that the last Congress postponed will be due.

As an early order of business, the new Congress will address the massive aid package for Superstorm Sandy victims. House Speaker John Boehner scrapped a vote to approve the $60 billion measure late Tuesday in the wake of the vote on the fiscal cliff bill, triggering irate reactions from politicians in both parties from New York and New Jersey  FULL ARTICLE