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Shutdown Politics

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2004 file photo, then Ohio-Rep. Steven LaTourette speaks in his on Capitol Hill in Washington. The government shutdown could last for many days or even weeks, congressional insiders say, because politically safe members in both parties feel little pressure to compromise. Recent political trends -- including heavily gerrymandered districts that make many House Democrats and Republicans virtual shoo-ins for re-election -- insulate lawmakers from events and emotions beyond their home regions. Gerrymandering has existed for decades. But election results and lawmakers' voting patterns show that the House is more sharply divided along party lines than at almost any point in modern times. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

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