Congress takes recess amid deep divides and unfinished business

(CBS News) The gears of government have started turning again as federal workers reopen parks, wind the clocks, and stream back into their offices. But can Congress find a way to work after weeks of utter gridlock?

Post-shutdown, how will Congress deal with long-term budget?

Obama's priorities for the year: Budget, immigration and farm bill

Leaders will spend the next eight weeks haggling over spending levels and deficit reduction - the same fight over tackling spending and entitlements has gone on for four years.

There was the president's fiscal commission led by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles in 2010 - Congress ignored it.

Then, there was the 2011 "grand bargain" talks on deficit reduction between the president and Speaker John Boehner, which failed.

And finally, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, called the "supercommittee," tried to find $1.2 trillion in cuts that same year, but could not strike a deal.

On Thursday, President Obama had some suggestions for Congress to focus on for the remainder of the calendar year.

"First, in coming days and weeks we should sit down and find a balanced approach to the budget," he said. "Two, we should finish the job of fixing our broken immigration system."

The president named one more, big piece of legislation that's in limbo right now - the farm bill.

Both the House and Senate have passed farm bills, but the House version cuts $40 billion worth of food stamp funding - creating yet another major partisan divide.

Stay tuned. The House will return October 22; the Senate is back on October 28.

To watch Nancy Cordes' full report, click on the video above.