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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

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday said that he opposes the budget agreement reached by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), calling the deal "irresponsible."

"We need a government with less debt and an economy with more good paying jobs, and this budget fails to accomplish both goals, making it harder for more Americans to achieve the American Dream," Rubio said in a statement. "Instead, this budget continues Washington’s irresponsible budgeting decisions by spending more money than the government takes in and placing additional financial burdens on everyday Americans."

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Tuesday called the budget deal reached by budget chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) a "positive step forward."

Read Boehner's full statement:

I am grateful for the work done by Chairmen Ryan and Murray. While modest in scale, this agreement represents a positive step forward by replacing one-time spending cuts with permanent reforms to mandatory spending programs that will produce real, lasting savings. This framework is consistent with sequester replacement legislation passed by the House in 2012. It would also help to further reduce the deficit without tax hikes that would hurt our economy. Lastly, this agreement would help protect important national security priorities.

Federal spending remains on an unsustainable course. Whether it is offering a plan to balance the budget, strengthen the federal safety net, or cut wasteful spending on behalf of hardworking taxpayers, only one party has led efforts to bring fiscal sanity back to Washington. Republicans will continue to lead that effort because it is essential to growing our economy, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and preserving the American Dream.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said Tuesday that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) "got an earful" from Democratic members of a Congressional delegation attending Nelson Mandela's memorial service in South Africa.

"I know he got an earful for 20 hours out and he's going to get another earful for 20 hours on the way back," Cummings told the Baltimore Sun about the trip with Cruz.

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President Obama's approval rating dropped to 38 percent in a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday, a new low for that survey.

His approval rating dropped one point from a poll in early November, but his disapproval rating has jumped three points, from 54 to 57 in the past few weeks.

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Dave Agema, a former state representative and current Michigan Republican National committeeman, said Saturday that gay people "want free medical because they're dying."

Agema told attendees at the Berrien County Republican Party Holiday Reception in Michigan that while he worked at American Airlines people would claim that someone was their partner so that they could get free AIDS treatment.

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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said Tuesday that he is considering blocking the defense authorization bill currently under debate in Congress unless senators are allowed to propose amendments, according to Roll Call.

"How many years has it been since we've had an NDAA with no amendments? It's never happened. Here's half of our discretionary spending, authorization for it, why would we shut off the right to have amendments?" he said. "I'm not about to give up my right to offer amendments because somebody wants to get a bill through that hasn’t been fully vetted."

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Residents of Tallahassee, Fla. may now celebrate "Festivus," the holiday "for the rest of us," created in the popular television show "Seinfeld," according to the News Service of Florida

Chaz Stevens, a Deerfield Beach resident, made a Festivus pole from Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans and applied to have it displayed in the state capitol. Festivus was established on "Seinfeld" as a way to protest the commercial nature of Christmas, and the holiday's traditions include displaying a Festivus pole and an "Airing of Grievances" with friends and family.

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told Texas Monthly that members of the Tea Party set an "impossible standard" for the GOP a couple of weeks before Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), a Tea Party firebrand, decided to run against Cornyn in the 2014 Senate primary.

The comments were made in a November interview with Texas Monthly that was published on Tuesday.

"I don't know how we got off on this track, where some people are welcome in our party and some people are not," Cornyn said when asked if his November comments about the "big tent" GOP were directed at the Tea Party. "Hence my reference to Ronald Reagan's line, 'What do you call someone who agrees with you eight times out of ten? An ally, not a twenty-percent traitor.' Well, we're at a point where you can agree with someone 98 percent of the time, but they think of you as a 2 percent traitor, which is just an impossible standard."

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