Congress returns, little hope of bipartisanship

By Jim Abrams

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 6 2011 1:06 a.m. MDT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) listens to a reporter's question following a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Las Vegas Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011.

Las Vegas Sun, Steve Marcus, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress spent August listening to constituents describe their economic struggles. This week, the lawmakers return to Washington to see whether there's enough bipartisanship left to make things better.

Republicans and Democrats agree that job creation is the first priority, but there's little indication so far that the two sides will come together.

President Barack Obama, who will address a joint session of Congress on Thursday, challenged Republicans on Monday to put country ahead of party and work with Democrats on a jobs package. He said more than 1 million unemployed construction workers are ready to rebuild deteriorating roads and bridges.

Majority Republicans in the House, however, have been unwilling to spend money on new construction projects, a strong signal that they'll give Obama's address a cool reception.

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