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Congress cooperates _ and fights _ as recess nears

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Md., joined by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., left, and Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., criticizes the efforts of Republicans to muscle legislation through the House authorizing an election-year lawsuit against President Barack Obama that accuses him of exceeding his powers in enforcing his health care law, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democrats have branded the effort a political charade aimed at stirring up Republican voters for the fall congressional elections. They say it's also an effort by top Republicans to mollify conservatives who want Obama to be impeached — something House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, said Tuesday he has no plans to do. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to begin a monthlong break, Congress leavened its customary heavy partisanship on Wednesday with a pinch of compromise, advancing legislation to repair the deeply troubled Department of Veterans Affairs and working to clear funds for highway construction at home and missile defense in Israel.

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