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Congress: GOP congressman says party doesn't live in 'reality'

Republican Virginia Rep. Scott Rigell says Republicans, in particular, Sen. Ted Cruz, don’t live in “political reality.” He “said that shutting down the government ‘over a deep matter of principle’ didn’t add up. He defected on a key vote during the shutdown, and called for a ‘clean’ government-funding bill,” The Hill notes. Of course, Rigell, from the Virginia Beach area, is the rare Republican in a district President Obama won and where there is a significant amount of federal workers.

“House and Senate negotiators will be focused on a small deal instead of a grand bargain when they meet Wednesday to begin their first budget conference since 2009,” The Hill writes. “Republicans and Democrats are talking about replacing all or part of the sequester, but divisions over the old question of new taxes could thwart a deal.”

Climate change didn’t get much attention on the one-year anniversary of Sandy, but a lot of Democrats think it should. National Journal: “President Obama didn't mention climate change in his statement on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, but plenty of lawmakers marked the day with a call for action.”

Politico notes, “Not so long ago, Kathleen Sebelius was a popular two-term governor with bipartisan appeal, a possible Democratic vice presidential prospect, a woman whom President Barack Obama could entrust with overhauling the nation’s heath insurance system. Even Bob Dole volunteered to introduce her at her confirmation.” But today, “House Republicans are expected to be harsh in their questioning at the Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. They’ll use her as a punching bag, making her answer for a law they wouldn’t have liked even if the launch had put Silicon Valley to shame — especially as questions about the website failure have expanded to reports of canceled insurance plans and privacy worries.”

NBC's Maggie Fox has "5 questions Sebelius must answer."

Politico: “Sen. Rand Paul said on Tuesday that he plans to place a hold on Janet Yellen’s nomination to be Federal Reserve chair to try and force a vote on a bill he argues would increase transparency at the central bank.”