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July 12th, 2010
11:26 AM ET

Congress returns, but where to begin?

CNN

Lawmakers return from a weeklong break on Monday with a full plate of unfinished business awaiting them.

There's a lot to tackle, but not a lot of time to do it. Congress is in session for four weeks before a monthlong recess. After that, members of Congress will turn their attention toward campaigning for the November midterm elections.

Here's a look at some of the items on Congress' to-do list:

Financial reform

President Obama wanted lawmakers to wrap up financial reform before they hit the road for the Fourth of July break, but the bill failed to make it out of the Senate.

The bill, which comes after more than 18 months of negotiation and debate, aims to strengthen consumer protection, shine a light on complex financial products and establish a new process for shutting down giant financial firms in trouble.

Senate Democrats need the support of some moderate Republicans to get the 60 votes needed to end any filibuster against the measure. The death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, and opposition by Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, leaves the Democrats with a maximum of 57 votes toward passage.

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