TPM News

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says the joint deficit Super Committee can't rely on the tax code for a penny's worth of its $1.5 trillion deficit reduction target. But as is so often the case when legislators discuss taxes, he left plenty of wiggle room for the panel's 12 members.

"When it comes to producing savings to reach its $1.5 trillion deficit reduction target, the Joint Select Committee has only one option: spending cuts and entitlement reform," Boehner told a friendly audience at the Economic Club of Washington, DC.

This is oddly precise language. Boehner's also argued that the committee should go beyond $1.5 trillion, and reduce deficits by multiple trillion dollars. So what happens beyond $1.5 trillion is unclear.

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Following an objection by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), and growing worries about yet another shutdown, the Senate has finally reached an agreement to extend funding for the FAA for 4 months, and funding for a highway bill for 6 months.

The Senate has passed a FEMA disaster relief funding bill late Thursday, by a 62-37 margin. The vote was subsequently held after an amendment, offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), failed to muster enough votes. His amendment would have offset the funding with cuts to foreign aid, a policy several Republicans – including Eric Cantor – have previously favored.

Updated: September 15, 2:37PM

The FBI on Wednesday raided the Madison home of a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker, as part of an ongoing investigation.

The home of Cynthia A. Archer was raided Wednesday morning, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Archer had previously been a top aide to Walker when he was Milwaukee County Executive. She has owned her Madison home since 1988, rented it out during her years working for Walker in Milwaukee County, and then moved back when he became governor.

There is currently an ongoing investigation into whether county employees engaged in political activity for Walker when he was the executive.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office confirmed to TPM that a deputy was present at Wednesday's raid, but was not involved in the investigation itself -- only to provide security outside the house. When asked for comment by TPM, the FBI referred questions about the matter to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office. The D.A. office declined comment. TPM also contacted Archer, who declined to comment citing a request from law enforcement.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday said Democrats overwhelmingly support President Obama's jobs bill, despite opposition from a handful of loud party conservatives.

"Let me just say that what you're suggesting is anecdotal. ... the plural of anecdote is not data," Pelosi said in response to TPM's question at her weekly Capitol press conference. "Our caucus is very unified in support of the American Jobs Act and the fact that it is paid for. It may differ with some provisions within it, or the pay-fors, but they do not differ in the fact that we must get behind it."

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Today in Some Crazy Person Asked Pat Robertson for Advice, we learn that the firebrand cleric doesn't merely dislike Alzheimer's -- "I hate Alzheimer's," he says -- but he thinks it's totally cool for you to divorce your spouse over it. A man wrote to Pat seeking advice for his friend, whose wife has Alzheimer's and no longer recognizes him. Pat's response, from Tuesday's 700 Club:

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One of the most persistent GOP attacks on the new health care law is that its Medicare savings, including cuts to Medicare advantage overpayments, would cripple the program.

Not true.

"On average, Medicare Advantage premiums will go down next year and seniors will enjoy more free benefits and cheaper prescription drugs," says HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement.

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