Obama eyes modest momentum on Capitol Hill in 2014

Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The Democratic-led Senate was ready Friday to approve legislation to keep the U.S. government running, but disputes with the Republican-run lower chamber of Congress ensured that the battle would spill over into the weekend, as a potential shutdown hurtles closer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama is returning to Washington this weekend eager to test whether a modest budget deal passed in the waning days of 2013 can spark bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill.

As he opens his sixth year in office, he also faces legacy-defining decisions on the future of government surveillance programs and the war in Afghanistan.

Looming over it all are the November congressional elections - Obama's last chance to stock Capitol Hill with more Democrats.

The wild card in 2014 for the White House and Democrats facing re-election will be the fate of the president's health care law.

The website woes that tainted the program's launch have largely been resolved, but it's unclear whether enough young and health people will enroll in order to keep prices low.

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