TPM News

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is secretly channeling the Grinch with his plans to spoil Christmas and wreak havoc on the economy during the pivotal holiday buying season, White House officials warned Thursday.

Democrats' attempts to plaster Republicans with the Grinch label is nothing new, especially when it comes to cutting the deficits and slashing entitlement spending. But this time, the label is particularly apt. Boehner's two-step bill could very well blow-up the legislative process in December as Congress wraps up works and tries to leave town for a two-week holiday break. And, well, Boehner does have a certainty affinity for bright lime green ties...

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Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi accused Republicans of failing to negotiate in good faith on Thursday, telling reporters that the GOP used debt negotiations as a Trojan Horse to attack the middle class.

"I believe that the reason that the agreement wasn't reached is because of the two different reasons to come to the table," Pelosi said at a press conference at the Capitol. While she said that Democrats legitimately wanted to reduce the deficit, "the real reason they didn't connect is because Republicans all along have used deficit reduction as an excuse for the unraveling of progress made for the middle class over the past fifty years."

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told his Republican caucus Thursday morning that he doesn't yet have enough committed support to pass his debt limit bill -- a high stakes vote that will take place just hours from the time of this writing.

Most of his members believe he'll get there quickly -- even among the opponents of his bill, it's hard to find anybody who believes with any confidence that Boehner's plan will go down.

Earlier this week, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) -- chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee -- told reporters Boehner lacked the votes to pass his legislation. Today he's not so sure. "[T]hey weren't there at the time, we'll see what happens," he told me.

But if it passes, Republicans will have to grapple with a key question -- one they haven't really considered, and which Boehner hasn't prepared them to answer: What happens when the Senate sends them back a different plan?

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Rep. Heath Schuler (D-NC), a three-term congressman, is no stranger to seeking re-election in a GOP-friendly district.

But this time around, if he runs, his fortunes may turn, as he faces the prospect of protecting his seat in the wake of redistricting in North Carolina, a process that was largely controlled by state Republicans for the first time in over a century. State Democrats stand to lose their 7-6 majority and more in the state Legislature.

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Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is cautiously optimistic that enough GOP members had fallen in line over the last 48 hours to pass his debt bill. The plan would cut nearly $917 billion in spending over the next ten years, raise the debt-ceiling by $900 billion and avoid sending the nation into default.

While he didn't have the magical 217 Republicans votes as of yet, Boehner told his conference in a closed-door meeting Thursday that he is confident he would hit the threshold when the bill reached the floor Thursday evening, according to lawmakers who attended the meeting.

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Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), who has made the media rounds bashing President Obama on the national debt, is being sued for $117,437 in back child support he allegedly owes his ex-wife and their three children, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, according to divorce documents filed in court in December.

Walsh's ex-wife Laura Walsh asked a judge to suspend Walsh's driver's license until he paid his child support, the newspaper reports. In response, Walsh asks his ex-wife's lawyer: "Have you no decency?"

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Conservatives hate it when liberals play the "victim card," Jon Stewart says, because it distracts from the real victims: conservatives.

In an epic montage of Fox News clips showing conservative pundits railing against liberal attacks on the right, Stewart last night admitted he had "no idea life for conservatives was so difficult in this country."

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If Newt Gingrich's 2012 campaign is good for anything, it's as a tutorial in what not to do as a conservative Republican running for president. And yesterday -- right into a TV camera -- Gingrich gave yet another master class.

ABC News, it seems, is calling out candidates for hawking campaign gear not made in the USA. The liability of pushing foreign-made buttons, t-shirts and the like in this cycle is obvious: ask any candidate and they'll tell you the number one facing the electorate is jobs. Dumping campaign contribution money overseas to pay for cheaply-made trinkets isn't exactly what you'd call "on message."

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