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Come together: Can Congress learn to just get along after shutdown battle?

Rep. Bass says GOP has some soul searching to do over shutdown.
Rep. Bass says GOP has some soul searching to do over shutdown.

It's been a nasty, prolonged fight on Capitol Hill over funding the federal government. But next week, Congress returns to - what? Another series of bitter partisan battles? It all depends on the issue.

Not everyone agrees the atmosphere on Capitol Hill is toxic. Republican Congressman Gary Miller of Rancho Cucamonga dismisses the idea that the budget battle has torpedoed any possibility of the GOP working with Democrats on anything. Miller insists, "there's been no impairment of relationships. I see my Democrat friends all the time." Mostly in the gym, he says, which has been closed during the government shutdown. Miller describes the debate over the debt limit and the continuing resolution as a professional difference of opinion. "It's not personal," he says, "it never has been for me around here."

LA Democrat Karen Bass isn't ready to let the GOP off the hook. She says she wants her Republican colleagues to do some "soul searching" and ask themselves, "was this really worth it?"

Both sides will be rehashing the same set of arguments over reducing the deficit all winter.

But Bass says there is a way to start next week off on the right foot. She says Congress needs to "affirmatively look for those issues, those pieces of legislation that we know are bipartisan and let's bring them up quick so that some healing can take place on both sides of the aisle."

One measure with bipartisan support likely to be voted on next week: a water infrastructure bill that - among other things - would finish a levee in northern California. The Senate version of the bill passed this spring.