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Tough issues await Huffman as he heads off to Congress

Democratic Rep. Jared Huffman takes his seat Thursday in the 113th Congress, facing big issues — budget cutbacks, the national debt limit and gun control — with a remarkably diverse freshman class and, he believes, a will to get things done.

"There's a real desire to try harder and work together," Huffman said in a recent interview at his home in the hills of San Rafael.

Congressman- Elect Jared Huffman

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A former environmental attorney who is coming off six years in the state Assembly, Huffman, 48, is joining a body widely demeaned by the public and noted for lack of accomplishment.

Congress got an 18 percent approval rating in the Gallup Poll two weeks ago, an improvement from the record-low 10 percent posted twice earlier this year but still far below the 33 percent average rating since 1974.

The exiting Congress, characterized by partisan gridlock, was poised to become the least productive on record, passing 219 bills as of Friday, compared with 383 bills approved by the previous Congress.


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