Congress Kicks Off Fall Agenda; Blame Game

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Congress is back in session in Washington after a month-long recess, and lawmakers have a lot on their plate.

In one chamber, the Senate is debating "patent reform," something Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says "will help entrepreneurs start new businesses."

In the House, lawmakers are considering whether to approve using the Capitol grounds for a Special Olympics torch run, as well as an act recognizing civilian service.

This week's focus will quickly shifts to jobs ahead of President Obama's new jobs plan.

There are plenty of other items on Congress's agenda.

Lawmakers must pass a dozen spending bills before the beginning of the 2012 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

The GOP-controlled House has already passed several, but Senate Democrats say those bills are dead on arrival because they're filled with partisan measures.

Congress will also resume its hunt to reduce the deficit.

Thursday, the so-called "super committee" will hold its first meeting on how to cut more than $1 trillion out of the budget.

But the committee will have to appease lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. And, some members have already expressed reservation.

"I would have like to have seen some freshmen on that committee, people who have not been up here in Washington, D.C.," Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., said. "Who've not been part of the problem, who can bring different perspectives and new ideas."

Although it's been quiet on Capitol Hill for the last month, it hasn't taken long for the rhetoric to heat up.

House Democrats issued a memo to congressional Republicans attacking them for not producing a jobs bill since they've been in control of the House.

Sen. Reid also blamed Republican obstructionism for keeping the economy from growing.

And as the back-and-forth blame game continues, Congress' disapproval rating has hit an all-time high.

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