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

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Wednesday morning said he needs answers from Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) before backing him for speaker, but the congressman did not close the door on eventually supporting Ryan.

During an interview on Fox News, Jordan said that the Freedom Caucus would meet with Ryan today to "talk about what we think is the best way."

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) seemed confident on Wednesday morning that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be able to unite Republicans and win the speakership election at the end of the month.

The outgoing speaker told reporters that he believes Ryan will make a great speaker, but that members will ultimately have to make the decision.

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This post has been updated.

After Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Tuesday night that he will consider a bid for House speaker as long as a few conditions are met, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus expressed skepticism about Ryan and his proposals.

Ryan asked that three groups of Republicans, including the House Freedom Caucus, endorse him by Friday in order to ensure that he will run for the top leadership spot. Freedom Caucus members did not dismiss Ryan's candidacy outright, but members indicated that they will need to speak with Ryan and deliberate before backing him. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the caucus, told Roll Call that members of the group will need to take a vote.

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Donald Trump on Tuesday night lamented that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has turned his attention away from Hillary Clinton amidst admissions from Republicans that the investigation was launched in order to attack Clinton politically.

During an interview on Fox News, host Sean Hannity asked Trump how he felt about the upcoming Benghazi hearing with Clinton.

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In a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Senate Democrats this week demanded that the Republican party cover the costs of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Roll Call reported on Wednesday morning.

"Over the past several weeks, several House Republicans have made clear what many observers have suspected all along: that the Select Committee has conducted a political inquisition aimed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Due to the political nature of the committee, we believe it is inappropriate that a reported 4.7 million taxpayer dollars were used to finance its operations and that the RNC subsequently orchestrated numerous fundraising opportunities in its wake," Democrats wrote in the letter obtained by Roll Call.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) may not be on board with a bill offered earlier this month that would keep elementary and middle school students from learning about religion. The legislation was proposed amidst complaints from parents and lawmakers that students were learning about too much about Islam.

"I don't know how you talk about the founding of America, and what became of the United States, without talking about religious doctrine," Haslam told reporters, according to the Associated Press. "Now, that's very different than indoctrinating, or teaching that doctrine as truth."

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Former President George W. Bush described Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as "opportunistic" at a Sunday night fundraiser for his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), according to a Politico report.

"I just don’t like the guy," Bush said, according to a donor who spoke with Politico.

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Co-host of Fox News' "The Five" and former press secretary to President George W. Bush Dana Perino on Monday evening slammed Donald Trump for suggesting that Bush was partially to blame for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I think it was a dismal weekend when you have liberal conspiracy theories being introduced by the Republican frontrunner," she said on "The Five."

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