In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives approved legislation Thursday that restricts that display of the Confederate Flag on cemeteries run by Department of Veterans Affairs.

Even allowing the floor vote was a major moment for House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), as GOP leadership has largely avoided holding votes on the contentious issue after the the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, reignited the debate over Confederate flags. Similar legislation derailed an appropriations bill last summer, when former Rep. John Boehner held the speaker's gavel.

"Last year it stopped the appropriations process in its tracks," Ryan said at press conference after Thursday's vote, according to The Hill. "What changed is we have to get through these things, and if we're going to have open rules and appropriations, which we have, which is regular order, people are going to have to take tough votes."

The House voted 265-159, with 84 Republicans joining nearly all of the Democrats, to approve the amendment, which was part of the fiscal 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, according to The Post and Courier. The amendment had been introduced late last night by Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), and it bars large-scale displays of the flag at V.A. ceremonies, while allowing families of deceased veterans to display small flags on individual graves on certain days of the year, according to The Hill

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During his primary, Donald Trump swore he could deport an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country, illegally. In fact, with "really good management," he vowed to get it done in two years. Then, he'd call on Mexico and get them to build a beautiful wall.

But now that Trump is the presumptive nominee, many Republicans in Congress are keeping their distance from what has become their nominee's signature campaign issue and instead dismissed it as little more than stump speech bravado.

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It's not even summer yet, and this election year is jumping the shark.

Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) re-election campaign on Monday mocked his primary opponent for entertaining constituents' chemtrail conspiracy theories. But it turns out McCain last year forwarded to the Environmental Protection Agency a letter from a constituent concerned about chemtrails, and asked the EPA to respond.

In the April 2015 cover letter, McCain notified the EPA that a constituent had "encountered a problem."

"Because the situation is under your jurisdiction, I am respectfully referring this matter to you for consideration," the letter reads.

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Late update: Sen. Sanders responded to the complaint filed by the Nevada Dems in a statement Tuesday that downplayed the reports of violence while accusing the state party of not operating transparently.

After a chaotic state convention in Nevada during which Bernie Sanders supporters interrupted and even threatened Dem officials over byzantine delegation rules, the state Democratic Party warned the Democratic National Committee of the potential for similar trouble at the national convention in July.

Nevada State Democratic Party general counsel Bradley S. Schrager filed a complaint Monday afternoon with the national party's rules and bylaws committee. The complaint, via Ralston Reports, accused the Sanders campaign of "either ignoring or profiting from the chaos it did much to create and nothing to diminish or mitigate." It said the efforts that Sanders representatives did make to calm the ruckus were merely "token gestures."

"We believe, unfortunately, that the tactics and behavior on display here in Nevada are harbingers of things to come as Democrats gather in Philadelphia in July for our National Convention," the complaint said.

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If there is one clear message that could be derived from a unanimous but unsigned Supreme Court opinion on a major contraceptive case, it is this: Everyone is just going to need to get along and keep the Supreme Court out of it.

The short, three-page opinion in the closely watched case of Zubik v. Burwell was riddled with ambiguity, uncertainty and even contradiction. The Supreme Court's non-decision to punt the issue reflects not just its intractability, exacerbated by the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, but also hints of trouble to come when the case goes back down to lower courts.

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In a surprise move Monday, the Supreme Court punted on a major Obamacare case challenging the law's contraceptive mandate, and specifically, how it accommodates religious nonprofits that object to birth control. The Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts to examine an alternative accommodation to the mandate that the court had been briefed on by both parties in the case after the oral arguments.

The move -- which comes as the Supreme Court is down a justice with Justice Antonin Scalia's death -- allowed the court to avoid what looked like a split decision after March's oral arguments. The Supreme Court was able to stay away from the thorny trade-offs between health care policy and religious freedom, a legal landscape that got much more complicated after the Supreme Court's ruling in 2014's Hobby Lobby case.

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After Donald Trump's much-ballyhooed trip Thursday to Capitol Hill, some Republican senators present in his meeting with GOP Senate leadership praised him for his willingness to "listen" behind closed doors.

"He was like I've always known: very straightforward ... very open about what he believes, very cordial," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) -- the most-senior Republican senator and one of those present at the meeting -- told reporters in the Capitol Thursday afternoon.

"I've always been impressed, but I was really impressed today," Hatch said.

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