A COMEBACK FOR THE ECONOMY: Is 2014 the year the economy bounces back? Economists say yes — but they also said 2013, 2012 and 2011 would be the year of the comeback. But there’s still reason for hope: “Now, though, some evidence actually backs them up, starting with across-the-board strengthening in the data and a better-than-before potential for Congress to avoid fiscal shenanigans for an entire year,” writes Catherine Hollander: Catherine Hollander for National Journal: Bizarre Jobs Report Aside, There's Still Momentum for the Economy in 2014
WAITING FOR REFORM: While some lawmakers want to tackle tax reform in 2014, many think it won’t happen anytime soon. Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. Dave Camp have championed the issue, crossing the aisle to promote reform across the country. But President Barack Obama nominated Baucus to serve as ambassador to China, creating more skepticism that a deal could happen: Bernie Becker for The Hill: Tax extenders may trump tax reform
LOOKING FOR COOPERATION: Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe is making across-the-aisle cooperation one of his priorities in his new role. “McAuliffe sought to strike a tone of cooperation, saying that no elected official leaves office and wishes they had been more partisan,” writes Peter Schroeder. McAuliffe said, “The skeptics are predicting divided government driven to gridlock. We will prove them wrong.” Peter Schroeder for The Hill: McAuliffe vows ‘consensus-driven progress' in Virginia
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STATE LEGISLATURES: More than half the state legislatures are now back in session. Is yours one of them? Click here to find out.
PARTISANSHIP ASIDE: NFL playoffs mark a time to put partisanship aside. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican Rep. Richard Hudson have a friendly wager over today’s Carolina Panthers – San Francisco 49ers game — betting a meal from the loser’s home state: Jason Dick for Roll Call: Football Breeds Bipartisanship, Betting
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STAT OF THE DAY: The economy lost about nine million jobs during the recession, but has gained back nearly eight million since then: The Wall Street Journal: Real Jobs Gap Not Closing Any Time Soon