Face in the News: What's in store for 2015?

The Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington.

AP

WASHINGTON (CBS News) - The new year is underway, and so is the political wrangling.

The 114th Congress begins this week, and many of the same issues from last year have carried over into 2015. Race relations are still on the front-burner, with new protests expected in New York. And everyone is wondering how things will be different with Republicans running the show on Capitol Hill.

Their first priority? Send President Obama a bill authorizing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., signaled Sunday on "Face The Nation" that Democrats, now in the Senate minority, would not give up their fight against Keystone XL, which they say could harm the environment.

Republicans have the votes to pass the bill, but Democrats will try to add amendments to ensure the pipeline is built with American steel and oil from the project would be used here at home, Schumer said.

"These amendments will make it better, but certainly not good enough at this time," Schumer said. "I think there will be enough Democratic votes to sustain the president's veto."

The third-ranking Senate Democrat also spoke about the latest NYPD funeral in Brooklyn, offering his condolences to the family of slain officer Wenjian Liu. His comments were covered by The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Politico, The Hill, the Huffington Post, the Washington Free Beacon, Bloomberg News and CNN.

The national conversation on race continued this week, as President Barack Obama said in an interview with NPR last month that racial divisions have improved during his tenure. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich disagreed, and said Sunday that the U.S. is "further apart, not closer together" on race.

"That's a tragic failure of leadership at the very top," Gingrich said.

His comments were covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, The Week and Newsmax.

Gingrich echoed comments made earlier by Rep. Elijah Cummings on the need for federal hearings on the criminal justice system. The Maryland Democrat said Congress should review the issue "because this is something that affects a very significant part of our population."

Cummings' comments were covered by The Hill.

Finally, on the topic of Ebola, Sen. Chris Coons shared new details about the outbreak in West Africa. The Democrat from Delaware recently returned to a trip from Liberia, which has seen 8,000 cases.

Coons said that the Pentagon should shift its strategy for the 2,400 American troops stationed there.

"We can bring home a thousand or more of these troops now," Coons said. "They are currently bored because they have accomplished a lot of their mission of building infrastructure, building new Ebola treatment units all over the country, deploying new military testing labs all over the country and setting up a vital infrastructure."

His comments were covered by the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.