TPM News

For Republican candidates across the country, the movement du jour seems to be a pledge to repeal health care reform if elected. Republicans are rushing to co-sponsor and promote efforts to repeal the bill on Capitol Hill. But not everyone is biting, exposing another fissure between the GOP's right and far-right.

The latest GOPers caught in the mix are in Delaware -- with candidate Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) challenging Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) to sign on to repeal plans. Castle, like every single Congressional Republican, opposed the legislation. But he said that repealing "is not realistic."

Similar spats have sparked across the country with repeal-happy candidates like Marco Rubio (R-FL) accusing Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) of not taking a harsh enough stand. According to the Conservative Club for Growth, which is tracking "Repeal It" pledge-takers, 226 candidates across the country have signed on.

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Poll: Obama Tied With Generic Republican A new CNN poll finds President Obama tied, at 47%-47%, against a generic Republican challenger for 2012. In addition, only 44% think Obama would win re-election, to 54% who think he would lose. CNN polling director Keating Holland said: "That may sound like a bad position to start from, but note that Bill Clinton was down 15 points to an unnamed Republican in March of 1994, and wound up winning the election two years later."

Obama's Day Ahead President Obama will meet at 9 a.m. ET with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET. He will depart from the White House at 4:45 p.m. ET, en route to Camp David.

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They're done. For good, this time.

Tonight, the House took Congress' final health care vote, when it passed a reconciliation bill fixing problems with the reforms that President Obama signed into law on Tuesday. The final tally was 220-207. The changes will take effect as soon as Obama signs this sidecar package into law, which could come as early as tomorrow.

Tonight's vote is a capstone to the Democrats' difficult fight over health care--one which took its toll on Obama's young administration, and at times threatened to tear the entire party apart.

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David Frum, the conservative pundit and former Bush White House speechwriter, has left his perch at the American Enterprise Institute -- with some observers wondering whether the move was triggered by his recent criticism of the GOP.

Today, Frum posted on his blog a note he had sent to AEI President Arthur Brooks:

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Despite flat denials earlier this month, the RNC's Young Eagles will be holding an April fundraiser at the headquarters of Blackwater in Moyock, North Carolina, Politico is reporting.

The original report that the young Republican donors would gather at the HQ of Xe, the new name for the armed contractor company formerly known as Blackwater, came from a leaked RNC presentation. The event was listed for April 16.

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In a statement released today, the ACLU urged Congress to pass legislation ending "Dont Ask, Dont Tell." Here's the full statement:

WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today announced changes that will raise the standard for discharging gay members of the military under the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The Obama administration and other high-ranking military leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael G. Mullen, have called for an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid delivered remarks after the Senate passed a reconciliation bill reshaping parts of the health care overhaul this afternoon. Here are his complete prepared remarks:

We have worked and waited for this moment for a century. Last year, a supermajority of the Senate passed the most crucial social, economic and moral change in a generation. This week, the President signed it into law. And today we made that good law even better for Nevadans and Americans across the country.

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The new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of Arkansas finds Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln ahead of her primary challenger, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. But the gap has been closing -- and it's also possible that Halter could be the stronger Democrat for the general election.

The numbers: Lincoln 44%, Halter 31%, with a ±5% margin of error. In the previous poll, from late November and early December 2009 -- before Halter was officially in the race -- Lincoln led by 42%-26%.

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Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) said in a statement to reporters today that his Kew Gardens, New York office is closed until authorities complete their investigation into a suspicious package sent there. It's the latest in a string of incidents threatening members of Congress since health care reform passed over the weekend.

Weiner's statement:

Earlier today an envelope containing white powder and a threatening letter was delivered to my community office in Kew Gardens. The NYPD was immediately alerted and have responded appropriately by sending a Haz-Mat team. Any questions related to their response should be directed to the NYPD. My first priority is the safety of my staff and neighbors, and the authorities are currently taking steps to investigate and resolve the situation.

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