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

Updated at 5:35 p.m. on Jul 9th

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Thursday lambasted House Republicans for pushing for an amendment that would allow Confederate flags to be displayed in federal cemeteries and sold in stores located in national parks.

"A sizable number of House Republicans are eager to protect the states of the Confederate flag on National Park Service grounds. These are the same house Republicans who voted for a party leader who once described himself as ‘David Duke without the baggage,'" Earnest said at Thursday's press briefing, according to the Huffington Post.

Earnest was referring to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who has been linked to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

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Updated at 11:54 a.m. on Jul 9th

House Republicans have cancelled the Thursday vote on the Interior spending bill to avoid debating a hastily-called amendment to the bill that would have allowed the display of Confederate flags on federal lands.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) confirmed on Thursday that the House would suspend debate on the Interior spending bill until members sort out the amendments related to the Confederate flag.

"That bill is gonna sit in abeyance until we come to some resolution on this," Boehner said of the Confederate flag amendments.

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Updated at 12:57 p.m. Jul 9th 2015

Following reports that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on Wednesday asked Donald Trump to tone down his remarks on immigration, Trump on Thursday attempted to downplay the phone call.

Trump said that reports on the phone call were "false," claiming that it was "more of a congratulatory call." But he also conceded that Priebus did mention that Trump could soften his tone on immigration. Trump told the New York Times that his call with Priebus only lasted about ten minutes and that it was more of a "more of a congratulatory call."

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Updated at 9:58 a.m. Jul 9th 2015

As Donald Trump refuses to apologize for remarks calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" and drug dealers, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus spoke to the real estate mogul over the phone on Wednesday asking him to soften his tone, the Washington Post reported.

Sources told the Washington Post that Priebus spent about an hour on the phone with Trump talking about the presidential candidate's stance on immigration.

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As some of her colleagues in the South Carolina House on Wednesday night fought over a bill that would remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds, Republican state Rep. Jenny Horne gave an impassioned speech calling on her colleagues to act swiftly.

"The people of Charleston deserve immediate and swift removal of that flag from this grounds," she said, calling on her Republican colleagues not to pass amendments that would delay final approval of the bill.

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Updated at 8:54 a.m. Jul 9th 2015

In a sudden late-night reversal Wednesday, House Republicans unexpectedly rallied to the defense of the Confederate flag. The surprise move came just one day after the House passed Democratic amendments to restrict the display of the flag on federal lands and to limit the sale of items with the notorious icon at national parks, Roll Call reported.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) announced the course change Wednesday evening, telling a nearly empty chamber that House Republicans had scheduled a vote for Thursday to undo the Democratic amendments, which were made to the Interior spending bill on Tuesday.

The move caught Democrats off guard. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) quickly opposed the new amendment and said on the House floor that she "cannot hide my surprise and my outrage," according to Roll Call.

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Donald Trump is convinced that he will win over Latino voters in the 2016 presidential election despite recent comments he made calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" and drug dealers.

"I have a great relationship with the Mexican people. I have many people working for me -- you can look at the job in Washington -- I have many legal immigrants working with me. And many of them come from Mexico," he told NBC News on Wednesday, referencing a report that undocumented immigrants have been employed to help build Trump's new hotel project in Washington, D.C.

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) on Tuesday issued an executive order to protect religious leaders and groups who do not approve of same-sex marriage in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that gay couples have the right to marry, the Wichita Eagle reported.

The order keeps the government from taking action against officials and organizations "on the basis that such person or organization believes or sincerely acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman."

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The Capitol Police have allegedly suspended a sergeant for leaking information about guns left behind in bathrooms in the Capitol, Roll Call reported on Tuesday.

The sergeant has not been back at work since two officers were called to speak with investigators at the Office of Professional Responsibility in June. Investigators were looking into separate incidents in which officers left their weapons behind in bathrooms and other public spaces, which Roll Call reported on in May. Capitol Police were also investigating who leaked a photo of a Glock left behind by an officer in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom.

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