The Senate Democratic leader is promising to act this year on legislation that went nowhere in the last Congress, including aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy and financial help for the U.S. Postal Service.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cited several bills that never were completed because of the deep partisan divisions between the Democratic-run Senate and Republican-controlled House.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Reid said the Senate would consider a farm bill and the Violence Against Women Act as well as other measures that the House didn't pass.
Reid said he was "cautiously optimistic" that the new Congress will be characterized by cooperation and compromise.