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Pope prepares for historic address to Congress

President Barack Obama talks with Pope Francis in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (Tony Gentile/Pool Photo via AP)

Pope Francis is about to become the first pontiff in history to speak to a joint meeting of Congress.

Lawmakers of all political backgrounds and religious affiliations are pledging to pause from the bickering and dysfunction that normally divide them and hear him out Thursday morning.

Tens of thousands of spectators will be watching from the West Lawn of the Capitol and many more on TV from around the world as the pope addresses a House chamber packed with Supreme Court justices, Cabinet officials, lawmakers and others.

Ahead of Francis' remarks lawmakers of both parties have busily sought political advantage from his stances, with Democrats in particular delighting in his support for action to overhaul immigration laws and combat global warming and income inequality.

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