In it, but not of it. TPM DC

WASHINGTON — In the haze of the budget "vote-a-rama" that lasted into the early hours of Friday morning, Democrats passed two progressive amendments through the Republican-led Senate, both of which may serve as valuable "wedge" issues for Hillary Clinton to exploit in the 2016 presidential election.

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WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that President Barack Obama was an "anti-war president."

"The world is starving for American leadership. But America has an anti-war president," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "We have no strategy, overarching strategy, to deal with the growing terrorist threat. And it's not just ISIS or Al-Qaeda or all of their affiliates. We've got a serious problem facing the world and America, by and large, is sitting on the sidelines."

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WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul filed an amendment to the Senate budget on Wednesday calling for a significant boost to defense spending, a reversal for the libertarian senator who has previously called for across-the-board cuts to domestic and military spending.

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WASHINGTON — It was the rarest of Kumbaya moments in the normally rancorous and dysfunctional House of Representatives.

Everyone from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to their deputies and committee leaders and underlings sang the praises of a massive Medicare overhaul bill, giving the equivalent of Oscar acceptance speeches by effusively thanking their staff and colleagues for making it happen.

Then they passed it by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 392-37, to a smattering of applause in the chamber.

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WASHINGTON — The budget debate that kicked off on Capitol Hill this week forces difficult decisions on the four Republican senators eying a run for president in 2016.

Their votes could be critical to avoiding an embarrassing failure for the party, which needs 51 of its 54 senators to pass the budget resolution. It poses an early test for the four White House hopefuls by forcing them to reconcile the tough choices required to govern with their competing agendas and the lofty promises they're making to voters at an early stage in the race.

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