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. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chairman of the House Science Committee, has been pressing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for months to turn over internal communications regarding a climate study, but on Tuesday Smith took a small step backward with his demands, the Washington Post reported.

In a letter to Commerce Secretary Pritzker, Smith said that he would let NOAA prioritize emails from non-scientist officials at the agency regarding the climate study published in June.

"In order to move the Committee’s work forward and to allow for further discussions on issues related to the subpoenaed communications about which the agency and the Committee disagree, the Committee is willing to accommodate NOAA and prioritize communications sent and received by non-scientific personnel," he wrote in the letter. "However, this prioritization does not alleviate NOAA’s obligation to respond fully to the Committee’s subpoena."

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said on Wednesday morning that even though he is "reluctant" to undo Medicaid expansion in Arizona, he will ultimately vote for the Senate bill to repeal Obamacare.

The senator made the comments at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C., when he was asked if he had any reservations about the Obamacare repeal bill's inclusion of a measure to end the law's Medicaid expansion. The Arizona government expanded Medicaid in the state through the Affordable Care Act.

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An Iowa Republican lawmaker this week suggested that the federal government consider executing some undocumented immigrants who try to re-enter the United States after being deported for committing a felony.

State Sen. Mark Chelgren, who is running for Congress, told the Knoxville Journal Express about his plans for punishing certain undocumented immigrants in an extensive interview published on Monday:

If one is found to have crossed into the country illegally, committed a felony while here, then been deported, he supports executing that individual if they break America's immigration laws a second time.

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Ben Carson on Tuesday said that the U.S. should not accept refugees from Syria because they will be easily targeted by terrorists, adding that Americans’ resentment of Syrian refugees could increase the likelihood of refugees’ “radicalization.”

"You bring a lot of people here from another culture and what they will tend to do is congregate together, that’s a natural thing, which makes them much easier targets for radicalization," Carson said on Breitbart News Radio. "Particularly if you bring them into an environment where a lot people of are resentful of the fact that they are here. That’s just going to create incidents that will increase further the likelihood of radicalization."

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The Texas government last week warned a refugee agency in the state that the group could face legal action if it does not comply with the governor's order to stop resettling Syrian refugees in Texas, but the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said on Monday that it would continue to aid refugees from Syria.

In a Nov. 25 letter to the Dallas chapter of the International Rescue Committee, Chris Traylor, the executive commissioner of the state Health and Human Services Commission, reminded the group of the governor's decision earlier in November to stop cooperating with the federal government's plans to resettle refugees from Syria in Texas.

"We have been unable to achieve cooperation with your agency," Traylor wrote in the letter, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Specifically, your agency insists on resettling certain refugees from Syria in the near future."

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Donald Trump on Monday afternoon said that his private meeting with black religious leaders went well, despite public statements from numerous pastors who attended the event condemning the Republican presidential candidate's treatment of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I saw love in that room. I see love everywhere I go," Trump told reporters after the event, according to CNN.

"This meeting was amazing. Amazing people," he continued. "The meeting went so much longer, and it went longer only because of the love. It didn't go longer for other reasons."

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday criticized those who have linked the deadly shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic last week with anti-abortion rhetoric, arguing that most criminals are actually Democrats.

During a discussion of the shooting with Cruz, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said, "I have never met — not once — a single pro-life activist who is in favor of violence of any sort."

Cruz responded that he hadn't either.

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Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) last week hurled another accusation at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an attempt to discredit a study on climate change the agency published in June.

Smith, the chairman of the House Science Committee, penned an op-ed for the Washington Times stating that the NOAA purposefully ignored satellite data and instead used data on the earth's surface temperature in order to support the belief that climate change is real. He is targeting a climate study that used an updated data set on ocean and earth temperatures. That NOAA study contradicted earlier research showing that global warming has slowed.

The op-ed is the latest move in Smith's months-long crusade against NOAA. The Republican congressman has issued a subpoena of NOAA scientists' internal communications about the study and has threatened to subpoena the NOAA's parent agency, the Commerce Department, if the NOAA does not turn over the documents. However, the NOAA has continuously refused to turn over the internal documents, citing the importance of the confidentiality of scientists' discussion.

Smith has accused the NOAA of altering "the data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda."

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Politico's Mike Allen on Monday morning apologized for an email recently surfaced by Gawker in which the reporter promised to provide Chelsea Clinton with the questions ahead of a proposed interview.

Allen, who writes Politico's tip sheet "Playbook," sent an email to Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines in January 2013 offering a "no risk" interview with Chelsea Clinton, according to Gawker. The email read:

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