U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is back on the job after undergoing surgery to remove his gallbladder. Kirk's spokesman says the Highland Park Republican arrived in Washington today. Senators are considering a bipartisan budget deal. The agreement passed by the House sets spending limits for defense and domestic programs for two years and averts a possible government shutdown in January. However, Senate leaders are criticizing it. Kirk says it raises spending now with the hope of future cuts. Kirk underwent surgery Dec. 9. He had experienced stomach pain and tests revealed gallstones _ hard deposits that can form in the gallbladder. The physician who performed the surgery says the gallbladder procedure was not related to a stroke Kirk suffered last year. He returned to work in Congress earlier this year.
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