In it, but not of it. TPM DC

House Republican leaders are hoping to vote next week, before the August recess, on a package to address the humanitarian crisis on the southern border.

The conference met on Friday morning to discuss a path forward and, according to a GOP leadership aide, is closing in on a proposal to provide less than $1 billion in funding and amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law that prohibits U.S. officials from swiftly sending back minors at the border who are coming from countries other than Mexico and Canada.

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An online video has surfaced in which MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the top outside experts consulted during Obamacare's drafting, appears to endorse the view advanced by conservatives that the law's tax credits would not be available for people using HealthCare.gov.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, published the video on Thursday evening. The organization said it was shot at a January 2012 event hosted by Noblis, a non-profit research group, at which Gruber spoke.

During a Q&A session, Gruber was asked in the video about Obamacare's health insurance exchanges. He said he thought the federal government "wants to squeeze the states" to set up their own exchanges by being slow to develop the federal website, which would be the back-stop for any state that didn't establish one. He then moved onto the tax-credit issue.

"What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill," he said in the video. "So you’re essentially saying to your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges and that they'll do it. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this."

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A top confidant to President Barack Obama told reporters on Friday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has "opened the door" to impeaching the president by moving to sue him.

"I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to impeachment sometime in the future," White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said at a Washington breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

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Could the federal government shut down again this fall?

The idea sounds absurd on its face, especially one month before an election, and one year after Republicans took a drubbing in the polls for forcing a shutdown over Obamacare.

But it could happen. Congress is currently on course for a battle to keep the federal government funded when the new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1. Even though the two parties agreed to a discretionary spending level of $1.014 trillion for fiscal year 2015, the appropriations process has screeched to a halt over extraneous policy issues and procedural disputes. And so a stopgap measure appears inevitable.

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Conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court might have already tipped their hand on the latest substantial legal threat to Obamacare, according to one Yale law professor. And if they did, it would be good news for the Obama administration.

A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled Tuesday that Obamacare's language did not allow people shopping on HealthCare.gov to access tax credits if they purchase insurance through the federal website. If that decision were to become law, affecting the 36 states served by the federal exchange, it would strip subsidies from nearly 5 million people and send their premiums skyrocketing. Without some sort of administrative rescue from the Obama administration, it would significantly gut the law.

Another federal appeals court in Virginia ruled the opposite way on the same day. Legal analysts have said it is at least possible that the case will end up in front of the Supreme Court, which largely upheld Obamacare in 2012. But the court's conservative streak has struck down some of the law's other provisions.

Abbe Gluck, a law professor at Yale University, highlighted some passages this week for a piece for Politico that showed how the court's conservative justices seemed to have already interpreted the issue in the 2012 ruling.

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Facing a divided House Republican conference and no clear path forward on legislation to address the border crisis, Speaker John Boehner is giving President Barack Obama an ultimatum: support reforms to toughen up border controls or we won't give you any money to deal with the humanitarian crisis involving child migrants from Central America.

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After apparently watching too many James Bond marathons, the Michigan Republican Party equipped some of its staff members with eyeglasses outfitted with high-tech hidden cameras to track Democratic candidates.

The Detroit News reported last week that Michigan Democrats had come into possession of a disk recorded from a secret camera that had been used to spy at a campaign fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer. The amateur snoops ate appetizers, discussed the interior design of the private home where the fundraiser took place and chatted with other attendees.

The Michigan Republican Party did not deny their methods and in fact volunteered to the News that the trackers had been using spyglasses with a secret camera installed in the frames.

“Republicans do it; Democrats do it,” Darren Littell, communications director for the state GOP, told the News. “People use different ways to get the footage. ... This is a newer approach.”

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