Aides call the GOP vote on the ban next week a toss-up.
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Unit is expected to save $2.3 billion over five years by buying common goods and services in bulk.
Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., says move could save $35 billion.
Observers are skeptical the panel will be able to reach a consensus, because 14 of the 18 members need to support any recommendations.
Federal workers and contractors would take a hit under draft plan.
The midterms were partly a referendum on the party in power, partly a plunge after Democrats’ back-to-back surges in 2006 and 2008, and partly a search for political balance.
Concerns about job cuts and retiree benefits remain as leaders vow reforms.
Review of U.S. attorneys’ expenses finds inconsistent policies and poor oversight are partially to blame for abuses.
Request "clearly needs to come from the Iraqis," Defense chief says.
Obama expresses some regrets about his first two years as president, but also shows optimism about working with Republican leaders.