New year to be a challenge for Republicans in Congress

Congressional Republicans are looking ahead at a new year of lawmaking that will almost certainly require Democratic votes if they want to get anything done.

That Democratic support won't be easy to come by. Both Republicans and Democrats face inter-party divisions, and there's a tendency to draw distinctions between the parties in an election year. Cooperation is likely to be minimal, a reality that puts a damper on the Republican victory with the tax overhaul.

Still, Republicans will feel more pressure than Democrats because the GOP controls the House and the Senate as well as the White House. In the Senate, where 60 votes are required to advance most legislation, Democrats will make the most of the 51-49 split to achieve their goals despite being in the minority.