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Only 5 Days Left for House, Senate to Both be in Session

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Right now lawmakers are inching closer to the end of the year without a budget deal. There are only 5 days left where the House and Senate will both be in session. FOX NEWS Correspondent Doug Luzader tells us about the plans to hammer out a deal happening right now. Nothing focuses the mind like a looming vacation, and Congress would like to wrap up some very complicated budget issues by the end of the week. The messy winter weather around the nation's capital just another reminder that Christmas is almost here and so are a number of pressing deadlines. Behind closed doors, 2 lawmakers in particular, Wisconsin Republican Congressman Paul Ryan and Washington Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, are trying to avert what could be a year end budget crisis. The sticking points are clear. Among them, whether to continue those automatic spending cuts called the sequester that are concentrated on the Pentagon.

Also a sticking point: whether to extend temporary long term unemployment benefits, especially after last week's drop in the unemployment rate. President Obama made the argument over the weekend that unemployment benefits are an economic stimulus. Will that be a deal breaker? Despite the weather outside it could represent a real thaw in Washington.

Meantime, there is a big scheduling challenge this week. Obama and many members of Congress are going to South Africa for Nelson Mandela's funeral.

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