TPM News

In a bid to attract Republican support for filibuster reform, Democrats led by Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Jeff Merkley have proposed a new rule that would guarantee the minority party the chance to offer three amendments to any legislation.

It may have worked too well. A senior Senate Republican leadership aide says GOP members would be "giddy" if they were given that right.

Here's why. Those amendments would be filibuster-proof -- among the only pieces of legislation in all the Senate to enjoy that privilege -- and would therefore be a recipe for poison pill amendments on both sides.

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We told you yesterday about the State Legislators for Legal Immigration, a group of conservative state lawmakers who want to force a Supreme Court fight over the 14th Amendment, by passing state citizenship laws that are sure to be challenged.

But there's another prong to their attack. They also want Congress to allow states to mark the birth certificates of children born on U.S. soil -- that is, U.S. citizens -- who are born to illegal immigrants. This would create two categories of certificates: One for those whose parents are citizens or legal immigrants, and one for those whose parents are here illegally.

The lawmakers say they don't want to create two classes of citizens. They just want to force Congress to discuss the issue.

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared today on ABC News's Top Line, where she did not say "no" about the possibility of running for president. But at the same time, based on her other statements in the interview, it seemed like this could be more about seeking a platform to speak on the issues she cares about.

Jonathan Karl asked Bachmann point blank whether she was thinking about running for president.

"I am going to Iowa," Bachmann responded with a smile. "There's your answer. I'm going to Iowa."

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Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential presidential candidate, seems to be downplaying the task he might face if he had to run against Sarah Palin.

As ABC News reports:

"I don't think it's fair to say people are afraid of her," he said, laughing. "It's fair to say she is somebody who's got a lot of influence and can use it for good, if she chooses to."

Pawlenty wouldn't speculate on a Pawlenty-Palin presidential battle, except to say, "I've got a long way to go to get people to even know my name, much less worrying about whether I could beat, you know, the force of nature that is Sarah Palin."

The Republican-controlled House voted this morning to wash away the massive fail caused by Reps. Pete Sessions' (R-TX) and Mike Fitzpatrick's (R-PA) decision to skip Wednesday's swearing-in ceremony in favor of taking the oath to a television set at a Capitol complex event for Fitzpatrick.

By a vote of 257 to 159, the House voted in a special rule written for Sessions and Fitzpatrick to essentially rewrite Congressional history so the votes they cast as unsworn members-elect Wednesday and Thursday never happened.

"Be it Resolved, that the votes recorded for Representative-elect Sessions and Representative-elect Fitzpatrick on rollcalls 3 through 8 be deleted and the vote-totals for each of those rollcalls be adjusted accordingly, both in the Journal and in the Congressional Record," the resolution reads.

Read the full text of the two-page resolution here.

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Former New York City Mayor and failed 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani pushed back on rumors that he's been rounding up political advisers for a possible 2012 run, saying this morning: "So far I haven't found any political advisers to round up. Maybe they're not listening."

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