In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Update: The House passed the legislation to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood by a 240-181 vote Wednesday evening.

After half-a-decade worth of votes to repeal Obamacare, congressional Republicans will finally send a bill that guts the President's signature health care reform to the Oval Office, where President Obama is sure to veto it.

The House is set to vote Wednesday on an Obamacare repeal bill that will take apart some key aspects of the Affordable Care Act, such as the individual and employer mandates. The House passed a similar bill last year. But once it reached the Senate, Republicans expanded its parameters -- including amendments that unravel the Medicaid expansion and target the marketplace subsidies -- as conservatives said the initial legislation didn't go far enough. Having passed narrowly in the Senate, it is now back in the House, where it kicks off Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) 2016 agenda "about ideas and not about distractions."

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The 2014 showdown at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada has found its 2016 sequel, with two of his sons among the anti-government extremists taking over a federal wildlife center in Oregon to protest the government’s public land policies.

The situation presents a complicated challenge for authorities seeking to end the standoff peacefully but armed militia members itching for a confrontation. But some observers caution that once it is settled -- however it is ultimately resolved -- those involved must face consequences, unlike Bundy himself, who was never sanctioned for his armed showdown with the government and still owes some $1 million in disputed public grazing fees that triggered the initial incident.

“These folks are militant extremists and they need to be treated as such,” Jessica Goad -- advocacy director at the Center for Western Priorities, a conservation group which has monitored the rise of anti-government groups -- told TPM. “They need to be brought to justice in order for this thing not to keep occurring in the future.”

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It's been two days since roughly a dozen armed men took over an unoccupied headquarters building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon's vast eastern desert near the small town of Burns.

It started as a planned protest in Burns over the impending imprisonment of local father-and-son ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond who were convicted of starting fires on public lands. But it quickly escalated into a full-on takeover of the federal facility 30 miles away with the armed group hunkering down and refusing to leave.

The Hammonds quickly distanced themselves from the brigade that includes two sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, a folk hero of sorts among western anti-government types after his standoff with the federal government in 2014.

Who exactly are these men? The exact number and identities of all the militia members at Malheur is not known, but here's a rundown on what is known about the men identified so far who are holed up at the wildlife refuge.

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It looks like Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) will be sticking to the promises about Medicaid he made towards the end of his gubernatorial campaign, instead of those made at its beginning. The Tea Party candidate laid out Wednesday his plans to "transform" -- rather than entirely dismantle -- the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

"We are going to transform the way Medicaid is delivered in Kentucky and this transformation I think will be a model to the nation," Bevin said at a press conference Wednesday.

By continuing Medicaid's expansion under Obamacare, Bevin will join a long line of GOP governors who have railed against the program but eventually come around to supporting it. The pattern is well-established and often includes negotiating with the federal government a special carve-out for a state-specific version of the program, a way to save political face by not seeming to have caved and become an Obamacare supporter.

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The most unexpected political story this year was arguably Donald Trump's domination of the early stages of the Republican 2016 primary. But nearly as fascinating was how the rest of the GOP sought to deal with the real-estate-mogul-turned-reality-star's unexpected rise.

Embrace him? Contain him? Dismiss him? Fight him? Those were the questions confronting the party since Trump's entry in the race -- at first viewed with mockery -- in the summer. While Trump could still fall short at the ballot box, he has left his permanent stamp on the entire race and even the Republican Party as a whole.

Here's a look at the various ways the GOP coped with the year of Donald Trump:

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It is as if Donald Trump just walked into a 40-year conversation on conservatism and instead of standing there, nodding his head politely as he got acquainted with the topic at hand, began shouting over the crowd.

It is essentially what Trump has done to conservative policy gurus this year. Trump has reached over anti-abortion diehards, foreign policy neocons, and supply siders to tell base voters directly what he thinks they want to hear and it's working. But he still doesn't have a grasp on how what he's promoting fits into long-term movement conservatism objectives -- nor does he seem to particularly care. Not only is Trump not beholden to the conservative movement, he seems more or less indifferent to it. And that as much as anything strikes fear deep in the hearts of longtime conservatives who see 2016 as a generational opportunity to control Congress and the White House simultaneously.

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More than 8.2 million consumers either signed up for new plans on the Obamacare federal marketplace or renewed their old plans in time for Jan. 1 coverage, according to an open enrollment report released Tuesday by the Department of Health and Human Services Monday.

Compared to the number of enrollees at this point last year, HealthCare.Gov sign-ups are up about 30 percent, HHS said, with 2.4 million new users on the federal marketplace.

The surge comes after HHS announced that it was extending the deadline for this open enrollment period from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17, having seen an unprecedented amount of traffic on its website and call centers.

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In his 2014 re-election, Mitch McConnell wasn't running on his personality, nor was he trying to make the case he was the most homespun Kentucky senator there ever was. On the campaign trail, everything McConnell said and did came down to one essential truth: a vote for Mitch McConnell was a vote for a Republican Senate majority.

Now, however a volatile and unpredictable presidential cycle could throw that majority into jeopardy and all of the building blocks McConnell's been laying through his three-decade career could fall apart if a bombastic or unpredictable GOP presidential candidate -- Donald Trump? Ted Cruz? -- wins the nomination and threatens his carefully-crafted majority.

"McConnell could orchestrate the perfect Senate race, but if the Republican presidential candidacy is a bust all of those candidacies could be washed away," said Kyle Kondik, an expert on congressional elections with the University of Virginia. "It would be interesting that here you have a man of the party establishment who played by the rules and at the time of what could be his ultimate triumph, the party establishment is thrown aside and all his work could be undone."

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A question posed at Saturday's 2016 Democratic debate suggested that since Obamacare was passed, health care premiums have skyrocketed. But that premise overlooked the reality that under Obamacare, premiums are actually growing a slower rate -- historically speaking -- and that they were growing at a much faster rate under previous administrations.

"Secretary Clinton, the Department of Health and Human Services says more than 17 million Americans who are not insured now have health coverage because of Obamacare. But for Americans who already had health insurance the cost has gone up 27 percent in the last five years while deductibles are up 67 percent, health care costs are rising faster than many Americans can manage," ABC News' Martha Raddatz said, before asking about how frontrunner Hillary Clinton would fix the law.

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Post updated at 12:09 p.m. ET. Congress easily passed the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending package Friday that will fund the government through most of 2016.

The House passed the omnibus as a standalone bill by a vote of 316 to 113. Soon after, the Senate passed the omnibus and the tax extenders package by a vote of 65 to 33.

President Obama is certain to sign the bill before the current funding extension runs out Dec. 22, bringing an end to budget brinksmanship for this fiscal year.

Republican presidential contenders Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul(R-KY) voted against the bill. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was absent.

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