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Congress: Mr. Gridlock?

Roll Call on Bunning's filibuster: "By blocking a short-term extension of unemployment and health insurance benefits, highway funding and Medicare payments to doctors, Bunning has unwittingly given Democrats measurable evidence that the much-maligned Republican filibuster is the real reason for Washington's gridlock."  
 
The New York Daily News' headline on Sen. Jim Bunning's hold on unemployment benefits: "Bird-flipping Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning blocking checks to 8,000 unemployed New Yorkers."  
 
Is it only a matter of time for Charlie Rangel? House Republicans are renewing their drive to force embattled Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) to surrender his gavel in the wake of his ethics wrist slap last week," Roll Call says. "And with politically vulnerable Democrats starting to peel off and join the call, top party strategists are wondering how long the Harlem Democrat can maintain his perch atop the tax-writing panel."  
 
"Two politically vulnerable Democrats on Monday called for Rep. Charles Rangel to step down as Ways and Means Committee chairman," The Hill notes. "Reps. Betty Sutton (Ohio) and Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) have joined the ranks of Democrats calling for the New York Democrat to relinquish his gavel in the wake of the ethics committee finding that Rangel violated House rules."  
 
More power to the Fed? "Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) are in talks about creating a new consumer financial protection office in the Federal Reserve to attempt to overcome partisan gridlock that is holding up a wide-ranging financial overhaul plan," The Hill reports. "Several sources familiar with the talks said the two senators have not yet inked a final deal and that they are still working through final language."