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1. SENATE

With filibuster crisis averted and harmony restored, efficiency bill likely to see Senate action this month

Democrats and Republicans came together yesterday and decided to save the Senate without destroying it. Tensions had been mounting since last week over Democratic threats to trigger the "nuclear option" and weaken filibuster rules to secure confirmations for seven stalled nominees. But the mushroom cloud never came, as Republicans agreed to allow confirmation votes on most of the nominees -- including Gina McCarthy to be U.S. EPA administrator -- in exchange for President Obama withdrawing and replacing the two most controversial nominees, who were tapped for spots on the National Labor Relations Board.

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