THE RACE: Events in capital may shape rest of race

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By TOM RAUM, Associated Press

Looming large over the presidential race this week are decisions ranging from a suspenseful Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's landmark health-care law to a possible House vote on whether to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt.

Congress also faces deadlines for a crucial transportation bill and on Obama's proposal to keep student-loan rates from doubling on July 1 — a topic at the top of his agenda as he campaigns Monday at a high school in Durham, N.H.

Facing the House is a committee's recommendation to hold the attorney general in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over certain subpoenaed documents on a botched federal gun-running sting in Mexico.

Timing remained unclear, although a vote could come as early as Tuesday. Leaders could still seek a way around it.

Obama has sought to shield the documents by evoking constitutional executive privilege for the first time in his presidency.

On matters of constitutionality, if the Supreme Court upholds the Obama health care law, it would be a clear win for the president. But if the court strikes down all or parts of it, the defeat for Obama could bring uncertainty for both campaigns over next steps.

A ruling, now expected Thursday, is being awaited by both Obama's and Republican Mitt Romney's camps with high levels of anxiety.

These Washington developments could help shape the rest of the presidential race, even though the fragile economy clearly remains the No. l issue for voters.

And when it comes to improving the economy, half of Americans in a new Associated Press-GFK poll say they don't think it will matter much whether Obama or Romney wins.

Romney was campaigning in Arizona on Monday. After New Hampshire, Obama was to fly to Boston for three evening fundraisers.

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EDITOR'S NOTE _ With 134 days left until Election Day, here are insights into today's highlights in U.S. politics

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