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The Boston Globe

Politics

Benefits vote to kick off ’14 showdown

Unemployment is first bill up for divided Senate

WASHINGTON — The Senate plunged into an election-year session Monday that promises to be long on political maneuvering and less so on accomplishment, beginning with a slow-motion struggle over legislation to renew lapsed jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

‘‘I’m optimistic, cautiously optimistic, that the new year will bring a renewed spirit of cooperation to this chamber,’’ said majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, in the first remarks of the year on the Senate floor.

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