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

House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) announced on Tuesday that congressional leaders have reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling and pass a two-year budget. He defended his decision to negotiate the plan behind closed doors with Senate and Democratic leaders.

Leaders agreed to a plan that will raise the debt ceiling through March 2017. The budget plan boosts spending for military spending and some domestic programs, and makes some reforms to Social Security and Medicare.

On Tuesday, Boehner defended the plan as the better alternative to a simple debt ceiling increase, highlighting the boost in defense spending and entitlement reform. Numerous conservatives in the House have balked at the bipartisan budget deal and complained that the process that excluded members.

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced on Sunday that she supports President Obama's plan to curb carbon emissions in the U.S. despite Republican Senate leaders' opposition to the plan.

Ayotte confirmed her support for the plan after the Obama administration published the final rule for the Clean Power Plan on Friday.

"It's so important that we protect New Hampshire's beautiful environment for our economy and for our future. After carefully reviewing this plan and talking with members of our business community, environmental groups, and other stakeholders, I have decided to support the Clean Power Plan to address climate change through clean energy solutions that will protect our environment," Ayotte said in a statement.

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Ben Carson leads Donald Trump by four points in a new national CBS News/New York Times poll released on Tuesday morning, suggesting that Carson could dislodge Trump as the Republican frontrunner.

Among Republican primary voters, Carson received 26 percent of support while Trump received 22 percent support. The rest of the Republican candidates polled in the single digits: 8 percent of GOP primary voters supported Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 7 percent supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and 7 percent supported Carly Fiorina.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) again praised his brother's actions following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, describing President George W. Bush's leadership as "awe-inspiring."

"The case study of leadership is how George responded to 9/11, period, over and out," Jeb Bush told the audience at a Houston event for donors to Bush's campaign, according to The Hill. "And the idea that a candidate could think that they could make political hay to create a new … narrative on the reality on how he led is a joke."

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Jon Stewart and his wife, Tracey Stewart, on Saturday confirmed that they will turn their New Jersey farm into a sanctuary for abused and neglected animals.

The Stewarts will set up their farm as a branch of Farm Sanctuary, a group that works to end inhumane farming practices that has branches in New York and California. Tracey Stewart announced the plans during a Farm Sanctuary gala on Saturday night.

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While trying to explain how he defied his father's expectations, Donald Trump on Monday morning said that his life has not been "easy," adding that his father gave him a "small" million dollar loan when Trump decided to start building in Manhattan.

During a town hall with NBC's "Today," an attendee asked Trump if he's ever been told "no."

"My whole life really has been a ‘no.’ And I fought through it," he responded.

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Iowa Republicans appreciate retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson's more controversial comments, according to a Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll released on Friday. The poll found Carson leading Trump by nine points among likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.

According to the survey of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers, 81 percent approved of Carson's comment that Obamacare is the "worst thing that's happened in this nation since slavery;" 77 percent said they liked his statement that Hitler's rise could have been stopped if German citizens had had guns; and 73 percent liked his concerns about a Muslim becoming president.

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