Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Richard Lugar of Indiana, departing Republican senators with a history of compromise, will be prime targets for Democrats seeking votes to avoid tax increases and spending cuts at the start of 2013.
New York Democrat Kathy Hochul won her U.S. House seat in 2011 by attacking a Republican plan to partially privatize Medicare. This year she is emphasizing trade, jobs and the economy in her re-election campaign.
Republicans are in a strong position to keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year as political analysts predict that Democrats will fall more than a dozen seats short of a majority in the Nov. 6 election.
U.S. lawmakers may be nearing agreement on a long-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, giving hope to homebuilders, insurers and real estate firms that three years of uncertainty may be coming to a close.
Ohio Republican Steve LaTourette’s decision to retire from the U.S. House means there will be even fewer moderates to work across party lines on the so-called fiscal cliff and other tax-and-spending issues.