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Analysis: Dog of year in Congress whimpers to end

December 7, 2013 • Business


FILE – This Dec. 5, 2013 file photo shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barring uncharacteristically swift work by Congress, more than a million victims of the recession will lose long-term employment benefits over the holidays, the price of milk could shoot up in late winter and government payments might fall sharply for doctors who treat Medicare patients. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Barring uncharacteristically swift work by Congress, more than a million victims of the recession will lose long-term unemployment benefits over the holidays, the price of milk could shoot up in late winter and government payments might fall sharply for doctors who treat Medicare patients.

There’s more — much more — as lawmakers grasp the tail end of a dog of a year.

Federal payments to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will begin shrinking, at least temporarily, on Jan. 1. Tax breaks will expire temporarily for millions of people in states without an income tax, and also for the relatively few Americans who own racehorses.

They are routine deadlines gone unmet in a year more likely to be remembered for a tea party-inspired partial government shutdown, the stalling of President Barack Obama’s agenda, repeated failed Republican attempts to eviscerate the health care law and a successful move by Senate Democrats to limit opposition to White House judicial nominees.

The blame game transcends all.

Republicans have “made good faith, serious Login to read more

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