In it, but not of it. TPM DC

When House Republicans signaled last week that they would provoke a fight over Social Security in the next two years, progressive stalwarts like Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren decried the action, with Brown alleging the GOP wanted to "set the stage to cut benefits for seniors and disabled Americans.”

But notably silent on the Republican stance, which prevents what has been a routine transfer of revenue between the retirement and disability funds, upping the chances of a crisis for the latter in late 2016, was the Democratic official who might actually be at the table if conservatives succeed in forcing negotiations in the next Congress: President Barack Obama.

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House Republicans are eying a vote next week to overturn President Barack Obama's executive actions to shield millions from deportation and reshape immigration enforcement, a deeply contentious issue for both parties.

GOP leaders plan to link it to funding of the Department of Homeland Security, which enforces immigration law, through September. Funding for the department expires on Feb. 28.

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Republicans are seizing a once-every-20-years opportunity to force a crisis in the Social Security disability program and use it as leverage to push through reforms, a long game that they have been quietly laying groundwork for since taking control of the House in 2010.

In less than two years, the Social Social disability insurance program will start being unable to pay its full benefits and House Republicans said this week that they aren't going to simply give it more revenue from the retirement side, as has been done historically. It's the latest episode in a protracted campaign over the disability program -- and it raises the question of what exactly Republicans plan to do now.

The last time this happened was 1994, and liberal analysts say that another simple reallocation between the disability and retirement funds, as has been done 11 times in the past, would keep both funds solvent until 2033. That meant that conservatives had to act now if they wanted to squeeze the crisis for all it's worth. For the last few years, they've been highlighting instances of fraud and other problems with the program, setting the stage for the big move this week.

Democrats are sounding the alarm, warning that Republicans have taken a "hostage" and will leverage it to pursue broad changes to Social Security as a whole. With memories still fresh of their failed effort to privatize Social Security in 2005, conservatives wonks are less sure that the new GOP Congress would have the political will to do that, though they wouldn't necessarily mind if it did.

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As Republicans take control of Congress for the first time since 2006, the Democrats' crushing midterm defeat and the rise of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have empowered the progressive wing to step up their fight for the soul of the party ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Their message: Stop catering to big business. Listen to populists like Warren on how to rebuild the tarnished brand. Champion transformative ideas that will improve the lives of middle class Americans. If not, Democrats are toast in 2016.

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House Speaker John Boehner is promising a fight on immigration that has the potential to shut down the Department of Homeland Security.

The Ohio Republican signaled on Thursday that the new GOP Congress will use the DHS funding bill, which expires at the end of February, to undo President Barack Obama's executive actions to halt deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants.

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When Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to his chamber's floor on Wednesday he warned that the now minority Senate Democrats "had no intention of just rolling over" but added that the "gratuitous obstruction and wanton filibustering" of Republicans in the last Congress wouldn't be something Democrats would mimic now, pointing toward a big question about the 114th Congress.

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