In it, but not of it. TPM DC

WASHINGTON — Two years ago today, the Republican National Committee released a brutal autopsy report about how to bounce back after the party's resounding defeat in the 2012 election. In a rare move for the political committee, it urged a policy change the party must make in order to win future elections: embrace immigration reform pronto.

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WASHINGTON — Democrats slammed the House GOP for targeting Social Security in its new budget resolution unveiled Tuesday, contending that the move is part of an emerging Republican strategy to create a crisis atmosphere and set the stage for dramatic changes in how the program works.

Though the budget was mostly similar to previous years' budgets, one major new item was a provision to prohibit a traditionally routine transfer of funds from the Social Security retirement fund (which is solvent through 2033) to the Social Security Disability Insurance fund, which has long been projected to become insolvent in 2016. It was a formal affirmation of a rule adopted by House Republicans on the first day of the new Congress to block such a "reallocation."

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WASHINGTON — After a day of filibusters and bickering, the Senate is no closer to breaking the impasse on an anti-human-trafficking bill that has hit a wall over Democratic objections to an anti-abortion provision.

And that has cast a cloud of uncertainty over the nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisting she won't receive a final confirmation vote until the trafficking bill passes.

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WASHINGTON — It's common in Congress for the parties to rip each other apart over the contents of a bill. But it's exceedingly rare for one party to accuse the other of trying to sneak a law into existence without telling them.

An overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate bill to combat human trafficking hit a wall last week after Democrats said they discovered a provision to impose new limits on abortion rights, and threatened to filibuster the bill unless the provision is removed.

Senate Republican leaders now find themselves caught between wanting to show they can pass even the most noncontroversial legislation and the passions of the pro-life base they roped into the battle by making it a high-stakes proxy war over abortion.

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