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Congress braces for high-drama lame duck

Congress is returning to Washington this week for an end-of-the-year session that’s expected to be filled with high-stakes legislative flights and plenty of drama.

Lawmakers will be forced to juggle several crucial deadlines on must-pass pieces of legislation and unravel thorny policy fights, while also navigating political battles over leadership and a potential Cabinet shakeup.

Both chambers are set to be in session for approximately four weeks once they reconvene on Tuesday, giving lawmakers little room for error as they race to wrap up their work for this session of Congress.

Here are five issues to watch:

Leadership fights

Republicans are mulling who will lead them starting in January as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) prepares to retire and the caucus comes to grips with their looming status as the minority party in the House.

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