Congress' dysfunction isn't limited to the struggle to keep a Cabinet department running without interruption.
Lawmakers couldn't finish their work last year and it's showing now.
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The leftover business could prove even more divisive than the dispute over rolling back President Barack Obama's immigration policies on a bill providing money for the Department of Homeland Security.
Stretches of brinkmanship are certain to consume much of the legislative calendar in 2015.
One critical issue is whether to increase the nation's borrowing authority. That debate could have major repercussions for the recovering economy.
The to-do list includes forestalling a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians, preventing a cutoff of highway and transit dollars in the middle of peak construction season this summer and renewing critical parts of the Patriot Act.