Democrats have strengthened their hold on the Senate but failed Tuesday to recapture the majority in the House of Representatives they lost two years ago.
Freshly re-elected President Barack Obama will face the same divided Congress in 2013 that has bedeviled efforts to enact his major legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who may have a slightly bigger working majority, says "it's time to put politics aside and work together to find solutions."
House Speaker John Boehner also gets to keep his job, and he offered to work with any willing partner, Republican or Democrat, to get things done.
Congress returns next week to deal with unfinished business - including a looming "fiscal cliff" of $400 billion in higher taxes and $100 billion in spending cuts.
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