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2 new faces and old partisan standoffs as Congress returns

AP file photo
In this June 20, 2017, file photo, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, at sunrise. There’ll be two new faces in the Senate and plenty of familiar but stubborn problems facing Congress in 2018, starting with a Jan. 19 deadline to reach a bipartisan budget pact and avert a partial government shutdown
AP file photo In this June 20, 2017, file photo, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, at sunrise. There’ll be two new faces in the Senate and plenty of familiar but stubborn problems facing Congress in 2018, starting with a Jan. 19 deadline to reach a bipartisan budget pact and avert a partial government shutdown

WASHINGTON – There will be two fresh Senate faces and some familiar but stubborn clashes facing lawmakers Wednesday as Congress begins its 2018 session staring at the year’s first potential calamity – an election-year government shutdown unless there’s a bipartisan spending pact by Jan. 19.

Looking to prevent a closure of federal agencies, top White House officials planned to meet at the Capitol Wednesday with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and each chamber’s top Democrat.

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