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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

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by a Washington D.C. restaurant and bar alleging that the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue has an unfair advantage given its ties to the sitting president is likely to face an uphill battle in courts, legal experts told TPM.

It is the second case this year taking aim at President Donald Trump's conflicts of interest. The first was a complaint filed by liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics accusing Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause, which bars the president from receiving payment from foreign governments.

In the complaint filed in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday, lawyers for Cork Wine Bar argue that Trump's link to the hotel amounts to unfair competition. They alleged that his hotel has pulled customers from Cork and other restaurants in the city who think that patronizing the hotel will curry favor with the President.

A court will likely allow the case to proceed based on the injury spelled out in the complaint, but beyond that, it's unclear whether the D.C. restaurant has a chance to succeed in this unprecedented case, experts told TPM.

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Friday morning called out Republicans for moving forward on a House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act without first seeing an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.

“They are afraid of that," Pelosi said during a breakfast in Washington, DC, for reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, referring to a CBO score that would project how much the bill would cost and how many people would lose their health insurance.

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, met with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but the congressman said that he is still not happy with the bill introduced by House leadership to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

"Right now, there’s big concerns, and I don’t think there’s the votes for this legislation," Jordan told CNN.

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appears to have irked the Republican chair of the House Rules Committee by telling reporters that all members would be able to offer amendments to the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“I will just point blank say that I would encourage Mr. Spicer if he thinks he’s going to start talking about my business to give me a darn call,” House Rules Committee Chair Pete Sessions (R-TX) said when asked about Spicer's comments on Wednesday. “I try not to get in his business, and I don’t appreciate him getting in my business.”

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday insisted that President Donald Trump supports small businesses when asked about the impact the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. has had on local businesses.

A reporter brought up a lawsuit filed earlier this week against the hotel, but did not ask Spicer about the legal challenge directly. The reporter asked how Trump could support small businesses while his hotel was taking business away from other local venues.

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Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, said on Thursday morning that she's not happy with the House Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, arguing that it will increase health insurance costs even further.

"If it passes the way it is presented right now, the hard working taxpayers of this country will be forgotten once again," Martin told CNN's "New Day" after saying that the House bill will prompt health insurance prices to "skyrocket."

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During a meeting with conservatives on Wednesday night, President Donald Trump said that if the House healthcare bill fails, Republicans can wait another two years for a repeal and blame Democrats for Obamacare's failure in the meantime, according to reports by CNN and Politico.

CNN reported that Trump told conservative groups about his backup plan to blame Democrats in an Oval Office meeting, citing unnamed "sources at the gathering." Politico reported that Trump's alternative plan involved waiting another two years for a repeal and blaming Democrats for the law's failure.

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Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Thursday morning warned that the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act unveiled by House Republican leadership this week will not pass in the Senate in its current form.

In a series of tweets, the conservative senator called on House Republicans to slow down the process for passing an Obamacare repeal and said he wanted the Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the bill before voting on it.

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