In it, but not of it. TPM DC

WASHINGTON — An ambitious agreement by Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to fix a major funding gap in Medicare and make some separate long-term cuts appears in good shape to pass the House.

A floor vote is planned for Thursday, House leadership aides said, after the top Democrat and Republican successfully resolved concerns about abortion language.

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LYNCHBURG, Va. — Ted Cruz's widely anticipated announcement here on Monday that he'll run for president is guaranteed to spook his fellow Republican hopefuls.

Not because he's necessarily better positioned to win the 2016 nomination than others such as Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Rather, he has a unique appeal to the hard-core conservative base that produces ample votes in GOP primaries, and he has a knack for portraying solidly conservative Republicans as establishment hacks and squishes.

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Russ Feingold, the former senator who has been one of the most outspoken critics of the modern campaign finance system, is contemplating a run to reclaim his Wisconsin seat in 2016. If he does, he will have to grapple with the increased influence of super PACs and outside spending since his last campaign. He'll have to either embrace them and risk charges of hypocrisy, or shun them and risk defeat.

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