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Congress: Geithner's day

"Congress is set to tackle the economy this week by considering President Barack Obama's choice to head the Treasury Department and by acting on legislation to spur economic growth. The Senate could confirm Timothy Geithner as Treasury secretary as early as Monday, after delaying a vote because Geithner failed to pay some of his federal taxes earlier this decade."

The Washington Post profiles Colorado's newest senator, Michael Bennet. "The 44-year-old Democrat, who has never even run for elected office, was sworn in Thursday as the youngest, greenest and least well-known member of the Senate. In the span of three weeks, he went from Denver schools superintendent to U.S. senator, a dizzying ascent for a man whose life has been marked by unusual turns."

More: "He gave up $5 million in unvested stock and a job in finance for the low-paying, high-stress position of chief of staff to Hickenlooper. He left that post to take the helm of an urban school district. Throughout his working life, Bennet has zigged and zagged between seemingly unrelated jobs for which he had no prior experience. And in each case, he left with a measure of success… [Colorado Gov. Bill] Ritter said that he was most impressed by Bennet's intellectual depth, geniality and political savvy and that he recognized similarities to his own start in politics. 'I became a district attorney in 1993 by appointment,' Ritter said. 'I was a total dark horse. The governor saw potential in me, and it worked out.'"

Rep. Jim Clyburn doesn't expect health care reform to be tackled this year. And he challenged Republicans to invite Obama to their winter retreat, as Dems did for Bush.  

"Tucked deep inside President Barack Obama's new White House Web site last week was a little-noticed campaign pledge that is already causing heartburn on Capitol Hill: a commitment to slash earmarks back to 1994 levels, a nearly 75 percent cut from 2006," Roll Call writes. "Several appropriators said they were unaware of the pledge -- initially made during the presidential campaign... . Appropriators on both sides of Capitol Hill generally resist the idea of slashing earmarks that dramatically, arguing that it is always in the White House's interest to eliminate them because it gives the administration the power to decide how to spend the money."