IMMIGRATION DEAL: A group of Democratic and Republican senators are laying the foundation for an immigration package with across-the-aisle support. The gang of eight, made up of four Republicans and four Democrats, plans to unveil details of the deal later today. We need more lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together on pressing issues like this: Manu Raju for POLITICO: Senate group reaches immigration deal

NO CONFIRMATION SINCE 2006: The Senate has not confirmed an appointee to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services since 2006. Marilyn Tavenner is next in line to be confirmed to the position that has been a victim of politics for the last seven years. The Senate needs to do its job and vote on presidential appointments, instead of politicizing the position: Jennifer Haberkorn for POLITICO: Politics thwarts CMS Senate confirmation

TIME TOGETHER CAN REDUCE GRIDLOCK: When Sen. Saxby Chambliss announced his retirement last week, he said that one of the reasons was the gridlock in Washington. One of the causes is Washington's lack of time together outside a session on the Hill. "In two years [since he came to Washington], we have not had, in the Senate, a bipartisan caucus, where Democrats and Republicans talked about the problems of the day to try and find commonality," says Sen. Joe Manchin. No Labels is building the space for both sides to come together: Dan Merica for CNN: Washington gridlock linked to social funk
EFFECTS OF PUNTING: While Congress continues to punt on spending decisions, those effected are continually taking cautionary steps. Weather services are shutting down radar systems, research programs are now having to file costly paperwork and troops are not getting trained properly. These are all problems that could have been avoided if Washington did its job and created long-term solutions:Lisa Rein for The Washington Post: Threat of automatic cuts costly to federal agencies
THE DAILY BREAK: What does Bill Gates plan to do to fix the world's biggest problems? Click here to find out: Bill Gates for The Wall Street Journal: My Plan to Fix The World's Biggest Problems
ACTION OF THE DAY: Follow us on Google+ to continue the discussion on putting problem solving ahead of politics. If you don't have an account, you can create one here.
STAT OF THE DAY: Orders for durable goods jumped 4.6 percent in December, while a gauge of future business spending also rose. This is a sign that businesses have a little more confidence in Washington's ability to lead: Reuters for The New York Times: U.S. Durable Goods Orders Exceed Estimates

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