Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

The North Carolina state elections board on Monday directed county election boards to dismiss any ballot protests that questioned a voter's eligibility, effectively tossing most protests filed by Republicans.

The ruling is a blow to Gov. Pat McCrory, who has seized on a flurry of ballot protests filed by Republicans to decry widespread voter fraud as he refuses to concede to his Democratic challenger, state Attorney General Roy Cooper. McCrory is currently trailing Cooper by about 9,800 votes, according to the board of elections website, although ten counties still have not certified their vote totals.

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Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) on Tuesday said that he would oppose Donald Trump's nomination of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services over Price's support for privatizing Medicare.

"Tom Price has led the charge to privatize Medicare, and for this reason, I cannot support his nomination," Donnelly said in a statement. "I am ready to work with anyone who wants to improve access to quality health care for Hoosier families and seniors, but the nomination of Tom Price would put us on a direct path to end Medicare as we know it, which would raise health care costs and break a fundamental promise to seniors. I have fought to protect Medicare, and I will continue to oppose efforts to privatize Medicare or turn it into a voucher program."

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In an embarrassing mix-up, a Wisconsin radio host Tuesday morning forgot he was scheduled to interview House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), only realizing his mistake when he took a call from a listener who was actually the speaker waiting for his scheduled interview.

Wisconsin radio host Mitch Henck was scheduled to interview Ryan on Tuesday at 10 a.m. ET, according to a press release from the speaker's office. However, a few minutes after 10, Henck had still made no mention of Ryan on "The Mitch Henck Show."

The host then took a call from listener "Paul," but the caller informed Henck that he was in fact Paul Ryan, and that he had been waiting on the line for his scheduled interview with Henck.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday morning spelled out his top four priorities for Congress when Donald Trump takes office next year.

During an interview on Wisconsin radio station WCLO, Ryan said that Congress' first priority is to "get the economy growing" again by reducing regulations. He said that addressing Obamacare will be "early on the agenda," and that making changes to the tax code would come "soon thereafter." Finally, Ryan said that "securing the border is a high priority" without elaborating on what kind of immigration legislation congressional Republicans would pursue.

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Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the incoming Senate minority leader, on Tuesday morning slammed Donald Trump's decision to nominate Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), citing Price's support for privatizing Medicare and opposition to Obamacare.

"Congressman Price has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood. Thanks to those three programs, millions of American seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable health care. Nominating Congressman Price to be the HHS secretary is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house," Schumer said in a statement.

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Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump's transition team on Monday shot down reports that Trump was upset with Conway, his former campaign manager, for publicly airing her concerns about potential for the President-elect to nominate Mitt Romney to be secretary of state.

Conway told the New York Times that Trump was not angered by her decision to air concerns that Trump's loyal supporters do not want the President-elect to select Romney.

"When he’s upset with someone, they know it," she said.

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Donald Trump's transition team on Tuesday morning announced that the President-elect will nominate Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on healthcare policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity,” Trump said in a statement. “He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American. I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Health and Human Services.”

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday confirmed that President Obama and Donald Trump have spoken a "handful" of times since the election, including over the phone on Saturday.

"When the President-elect was in the oval office with President Obama, 36 hours after the election results were tabulated, the President-elect indicated the desire seek president Obama's advice and counsel repeatedly. And President Obama made clear he was ready to offer that advice because of his underlying enduring commitment to a smooth and effective transition from the Obama presidency into the next," Earnest told reporters at the daily White House press briefing.

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A member of the Electoral College representing Texas, Art Sisneros, wrote on Saturday that he will resign as an elector because he refuses to cast a vote for Donald Trump.

Sisneros had previously spoken out against Trump, telling Politico in August that he was considering voting against Trump even if he won the electoral college. But in a blog post on Saturday, Sisneros wrote that he does not want to be a "faithless" elector and cannot bring himself to vote for Trump, so he decided to resign from his role as an elector.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's (R) campaign on Saturday evening announced that if the state Elections Board approves a recount of about 90,000 early votes in Durham County, the governor may drop his statewide recount request.

Trailing Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper in the governor's race by more than 7,000 votes as of Sunday, McCrory has claimed that the 2016 election was fraught with fraud, promoting dozens of ballot protests filed by Republicans alleging that votes were cast by people who were dead, who had already voted, or who were convicted felons. The campaign has also claimed that progressive groups may have improperly filled out absentee ballots.

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