In it, but not of it. TPM DC

WASHINGTON — When Harry Reid retires in 2017 after serving for 12 years as Senate Democratic leader, the calculating and blunt-spoken Nevadan will leave behind a legacy that could end up transforming the United States far beyond his wildest dreams — or worst nightmares.

For now, his contributions to passing Obamacare — an arduous task that required the votes of all 60 Democratic senators in late 2009 — stand as his most far-reaching achievement, paving the way for more than 16 million Americans to gain health coverage. It was the sort of bill that presidents had been trying to pass for nearly a century, and most credit its enactment to President Barack Obama.

But in the long-term, the former boxer who became known for his iron-fisted rule over the Senate as majority leader may be remembered most for deploying the so-called "nuclear option" on Nov. 21, 2013, to abolish the filibuster for most nominations, and arguably setting the stage for killing the 60-vote threshold entirely.

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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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