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The sun gleamed down on the closed Washington Monument as the federal budget impasse continued in Washington on Jan. 4, 1996. Brawling and bargaining by turns, President Clinton and Republican congressional leaders struggled to make progress toward a balanced budget, while blaming each other for a partial government shutdown that inconvenienced millions. Dennis Cook/AP hide caption

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Dennis Cook/AP

Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), seen here in February 2010 campaigning for his seat, is spending as little time as possible in Washington, D.C., in order to preserve his "Frog Jump common sense." The congressman is from the tiny community of Frog Jump, Tenn. Lance Murphey/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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Lance Murphey/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Demonstrators gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse last week to protest Senate Bill 5, which would have banned collective bargaining for state workers. Unions say legislation being pushed by Republican governors nationwide is an attack on their very existence. Jay LaPrete/AP hide caption

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Jay LaPrete/AP