Like they never left

The U.S. Senate returned to work this afternoon and in some respects it was like they never left.

During their session-opening speeches, Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky "trad(ed) partisan barbs about the sagging economy, the U.S. credit rating downgrade and the rock-bottom approval ratings of Congress." Politico’s Manu Raju reported.

Reid said Republicans were "distracting Congress" from focusing on jobs. McConnell attacked President Barack Obama’s economic record, even the president’s decision to withdraw a major clean air rule last Friday that normally would cheer anti-reg Republicans.

“I mean you don’t lift a single regulation and suddenly claim to be Margaret Thatcher,” McConnell said.

McConnell sad he did not believe “any one of us is under any illusion that the American people were particularly eager to see us [Congress] come back, and who could blame them?”

Reid did announce an agenda for the next few weeks, including making another run for legislation to update patent laws, renewal of key airport and highway authorization bills, and emergency aid to states hit by summertime disasters, Raju reported.

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