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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

Shouts erupted in the House gallery Thursday morning after several Republican members switched their votes, defeating an amendment that would have preserved anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees of federal contractors.

The procedural maneuvering is a little complicated but here's the gist: Late Wednesday, the House had passed defense legislation which included language that undermines an executive order from President Obama that prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people. Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) then offered an amendment that would have reversed the anti-LGBT provision in the defense bill.

That's when things got interesting.

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Despite some lingering misgivings about Donald Trump, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the No. 4 Republican in the House, said on Wednesday that she has decided to back the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Republican Conference, detailed her feelings on Trump in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday night revealing that she voted for him in the Washington state primary.

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Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would undermine guidelines issued by the Obama administration directing schools to let transgender students use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

The legislation would instead grant state and local authorities the power to determine school policies regarding bathroom use.

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Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Tuesday called for Americans to use civil disobedience to resist the Obama administrations guidelines on how schools should accommodate transgender students.

"We should call for civil disobedience here. And there’s no reason for us to follow an unconstitutional edict from the president, who is on his way out the door," he said on Simon Conway's radio show, according to audio posted by Buzzfeed News.

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Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that if a another situation like the chaos at the Nevada Democratic Convention occurs again, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will need to be more vocal in condemning the actions of his supporters.

"That’s not Bernie,” Biden told reporters in Ohio when asked about the ruckus from Sanders backers at the Nevada convention over the weekend, according to the Huffington Post. "And what Bernie’s going to have to do if that happens again — he’s going to have to be more aggressive in speaking out about it."

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The Mississippi Department of Education reversed course Wednesday on its plans to follow the Obama administration's guidelines for accommodating transgender students after Republican lawmakers in the state decried the new policy.

"Pending a discussion with the Mississippi State Board of Education, I am instructing the Mississippi Department of Education to follow the lead of state leadership and take no action at this time regarding the non-regulatory guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education," Dr. Carey Wright, the state superintendent of education, said in a statement.

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The attorneys general of Texas, Oklahoma, and West Virginia on Tuesday sent a letter to Obama administration officials, asking whether the new federal government guidance on how to accommodate transgender students will threaten federal funding to states that ignore the guidelines.

"The so-called ‘significant guidance’ issued by the Obama Administrations raises more questions than it answers, just as it creates concerns among anyone who believes sex is a biological fact and not a personal preference," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said in a statement announcing the letter.

"As billions of dollars appear to be at stake based upon schools’ compliance with this guidance, the Obama Administration must be extremely clear about what is and isn’t allowed, and explain how their actions do not add requirements to the law, as their letter claims," he added.

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A former Democratic state representative, Mark Anthony De Simone, was charged with murder on Monday after he allegedly shot and killed a man at a cabin in Excursion Inlet, Alaska, according to the Juneau Empire.

Duilio Antonio Rosales, a jeweler and Juneau resident, was found by police on Sunday after being shot in the head. Witnesses called the Coast Guard after De Simone confessed to the crime, according to a charging document reviewed by the Alaska Dispatch News. Police charged De Simone with first degree murder, two counts of second degree murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide, according to the Dispatch News.

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the chair of the Democratic National Committee, on Tuesday night said that Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) statement responding to reports of violence at the Nevada Democratic Convention was insufficient.

"Unfortunately, the senator’s response was anything but acceptable. It certainly did not condemn his supporters for acting violently or engaging in intimidation tactics and instead added more fuel to the fire," Wasserman Schultz said on CNN.

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