In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The White House and House Oversight Chair Darrell Issa are perennially at war. But this time it has gotten strange and personal, and the California Republican isn't backing down.

Issa has been on what Democrats call a "subpoena binge" against Obama administration officials in pursuit of scandals involving Benghazi, the IRS and other issues that animate conservatives.

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A majority of voters in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in believe Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) rightfully won over Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R), according to a new Public Policy Polling survey obtained by TPM. But broken down by party affiliation, Republicans seem more divided over the results.

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Last fall's government shutdown and subsequent two-year budget accord injected a sense of hope that Congress would be able to keep important federal programs running this year without partisan fights that threaten disruptions.

But election-year considerations and a Republican party hungry for confrontation with President Barack Obama have dimmed prospects for a drama-free summer. Congress has 12 working days before the five-week August recess. After that it'll have a mere 10 working days before federal agencies and programs will need to be funded to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

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House Republicans are suing President Barack Obama for unilaterally delaying Obamacare's employer mandate. At the same time, the GOP has identified repealing the mandate as one of their potential moves if they take control of the Senate next year.

Can those two objectives really co-exist?

The GOP and its supporters believe they can simultaneously move ahead with the lawsuit and repeal. But some outside experts who are supportive of Obamacare said that if Republicans were to repeal the mandate, it could be problematic for their legal action.

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The subpoena of a Republican House aide in a federal investigation of insider trading has unnerved some of his colleagues on the Hill -- at least those who are paying attention.

The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year subpoenaed Brian Sutter, a staff director for House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-MI). The commission was investigating how a policy change for Medicare was leaked to Wall Street traders before it became public. The agency has since said in court filings that Sutter "may have been" the source of the leak, and it is currently battling with the House counsel's office in court over whether Sutter should be forced to comply with the subpoena.

The subpoena of a congressional staffer is unusual. (Lawyers for the House say it is also unconstitutional.) That, paired with the fact that what Sutter is alleged to have done is considered unremarkable by some on the Hill, has sent a chill through certain congressional staffers who are following the case.

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