(CNN) - With the 112th Congress coming to an end, several senators gave their farewell remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday.
As they depart, many of them touched on a need for bipartisanship or reflected on key pieces of legislation they helped pass. See some of the highlights after the jump.
Washington (CNN) - Democrats on Monday will propose a compromise plan to extend the payroll tax cut that includes a "serious" way to pay the more than $200 billion price tag, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee says.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, will introduce the compromise proposal Monday after the chamber last week voted down competing Democratic and Republican plans, Sen. Kent Conrad told "Fox News Sunday."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Members of a bipartisan group of senators who worked for months to forge an agreement to make deep reductions in the federal debt will unveil a plan to slash trillions of dollars off that debt over the next 10 years.
The former Gang of Six members will reveal their plan privately Tuesday to a group of 40 to 50 senators.
Washington (CNN)-One day after Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn dramatically dropped out of the bipartisan Gang of Six debt talks, the remaining five members of the group huddled late Wednesday to discuss their next steps in trying to reach a deal to cut the nation's debt by $4 trillion over the next decade.
After an hour-long meeting in the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the senators emerged jointly before cameras for the first time to announce they would continue working towards a deal, even if Coburn had left the group.
Washington (CNN) - Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota said the Republican-backed plan to avoid a government shut down is "acceptable," but that it is "not the way to go."
The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires March 4 and members of Congress are in negotiations to avoid a government shutdown. Most recently, leading Democrats appeared open to the Republican proposal that would include $4 billion in cuts and fund the government for an additional two weeks while a more permanent deal is worked out.
Washington (CNN) - Three longtime senators who have decided not to seek re-election in 2012 said Sunday that they believe the country is ready for serious bipartisan cooperation on major issues - especially tackling the massive national debt.
"When we begin to act in that way, working across party lines ... then it not only gets things done, but it increases the characteristic American optimism and confidence," independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, told ABC's "This Week." "To raise the GDP, I've been saying, we've got to raise the GDC, the gross domestic confidence."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - The 2012 election may be 22 months away, but the battle for a what may be a vulnerable Democratic-held Senate seat in North Dakota is already heating up.
Commonsense Ten, an independent Democratic aligned organization, tells CNN that its launching radio ads Friday defending the record of Sen. Kent Conrad, who faces what could be a difficult bid for re-election in 2012. Jim Jordan, one of the Democratic operatives who last year founded the group, says they'll spend around $30,000 on the ad buy. The group spent around $4 million in last year's midterm campaign.
Washington (CNN) - Despite the fact that the deficit commission did not reach its goal of a supermajority to get its proposals to the floor of the congress, two of its members say their work should now serve as the blueprint for deficit reduction in the future.
In addition, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) told CNN that he believes there needs to be a "budget summit" in the near future-with representatives from both sides of the aisle, the White House and the budget office. "It's essential,' he says, adding that near-term decisions on raising the debt limit and cutting spending have to be made with the commission recommendations in mind.
Washington (CNN) - Sen. Kent Conrad issued a statement Thursday announcing that he has asked for the removal from the House bill of an exemption for the state-owned Bank of North Dakota that would have allowed the bank to continue making federally backed student loans.
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(Read Conrad's full statement after the jump)