In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The “Cadillac tax” is not dead yet. But Congress put that key piece of Obamacare's cost controls on life support this week by including a two-year moratorium on its implementation within a larger tax package deal announced Tuesday evening.

The provision wasn’t a major surprise, considering that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had overwhelming come out against it. But it is a disappointing development to the policy-wonks and economists who continue to defend it and warn against attempts to undermine it without a measure to replace it.

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The last-minute funding bill and tax package that was announced late Tuesday evening means Congress is one step closer to avoiding a government shut down.

But the must-pass nature of the bill also made it the best opportunity for lawmakers to turn some of the items on their end of the year policy wish list into federal law. Here are some of the biggest items make it into the final deal:

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After weeks of trading barbs over each other's immigration positions while remaining vague on their own, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) finally had their big, climatic showdown on the so-called "amnesty" question, with Rubio in some respects turning the tables on Cruz.

Going into Tuesday debate, immigration had been a weakness for Rubio among conservative voters and Cruz had been dogging him on the issue from afar on the campaign trail. Ultimately, Rubio didn't have to give up much -- he landed on supporting green cards for undocumented immigrants -- but he was able to put Cruz on the spot for his own waffling on the issue.

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is leading the charge to include a provision in a year-end tax package that would delay the Obamacare Cadillac tax, according to a report by The Hill.

The tax is despised by members of both parties, but health care economists and policy wonks defend it as an important cost-savings measure. Though the Obama administration has also held firm in its support for the Cadillac tax, it may be forced to swallow the delay -- which would put off the implementation of the tax from 2018 to 2020 -- as a part of the larger "tax extender" package that could include other extensions of tax breaks the administration favors.

Neither Reid nor House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) commented for The Hill report.

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The state of Georgia won't process the application for food stamps and other state benefits filed by a newly arrived Syrian refugee family last week, the state Department of Human Services confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

The Department of Human Services sent a memo in November ordering employees not to process the applications of Syrian refugees after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) issued an executive order telling all state agencies to stop any involvement with the resettlement of refugees from Syria.

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At least some of the conservatives on the Supreme Court seemed ready to kill affirmative action in public universities during Wednesday's arguments on the University of Texas at Austin's program, which already has been upheld three times in lower courts.

The conservative justices used the case to cast doubt on affirmative action policies in general, ranging from the suggestion that ​African-Americans were being hurt by being sent to schools with classes "too fast for them,"​ to questioning the benefit of having a ​minority​ in one's physics class.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who's previously made clear that he doesn't believe immigrants from the Middle East want to assimilate into American culture, wants Muslims who come to the U.S. to reject Sharia law. King made the comments when TPM asked him on Wednesday whether he supported Trump's proposed ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

King said he wasn't confident any immigrants from the Middle East would do so, citing what he said was the failure of the only two Muslim members of Congress to renounce Sharia.

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