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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. Rob Portman (R-OH) on Sunday explained his decision to vote against the Senate bill that would have extended longterm unemployment benefits -- he was one of six Republicans who voted to debate the legislation.

"Unfortunately, Democrats did not work with us, wouldn't negotiate with us on how to pay for it," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We also have record numbers of people long-term unemployed. And the Democratic answer to that is, 'Let's add more to the 26 weeks of unemployment insurance to emergency benefits, and let's do nothing to reform the program. Let's do nothing to give people the skills they need to access the jobs that are out there.'"

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of the lawmakers who brokered the Senate immigration bill, on Sunday proposed a new idea for getting Republican leaders on board with passing immigration reform this year.

"Let's enact the law this year, but simply not let it actually start until 2017, after President Obama's term is over," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "Now I think the rap against him that he won't enforce the law is false -- he's deported more people than any other president -- but you could actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it."

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The Newark Star-Ledger's editorial page editor on Sunday explained why he had some regrets about endorsing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) in 2013, but stopped short of saying he would never support the scandal-laden politician again.

"An endorsement is not a love embrace. It is a choice between two flawed human beings. And the winner is often the less bad option," editor Tom Moran wrote in a column. "But yes, we blew this one."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Saturday warned Republican lawmakers that they need to adapt to changing public opinion.

"What I do believe is Texas is going to be a Democrat state within 10 years if we don't change," he said at a Harris County, Tex. GOP dinner, according to Politico. "That means we evolve, it doesn't mean we give up on what we believe in, but it means we have to be a welcoming party."

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President Obama on Thursday rebutted the general perception that he has an "icy" relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"He does have a public style where he likes to sit back and look a little bored during the course of joint interviews. I think that's where some of these perceptions come up," Obama told NBC News in an interview airing Friday. "My sense is that's part of his shtick back home politically as wanting to look like the tough guy. U.S. politicians have a different style. We tend to smile once in a while."

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Five years into Obama's presidency 44 percent of Americans still blame former President George W. Bush and the Republican Party for the country's economic woes, while 34 percent blame President Obama and Democrats, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday.

While more Americans fault Bush for the state of the economy, blame on the former president and Republicans has dipped since 2012, when 57 percent held Bush responsible compared to 35 percent who viewed Obama more culpable.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on Thursday called on President Obama to nominate fewer judges who have represented corporate interests and more with backgrounds working for public interest groups.

"Power is becoming more and more concentrated on one side," she said at an event organized by the left-leaning Alliance for Justice. "Well-financed corporate interests line up to fight for their own privileges and resist any change that would limit corporate excess."

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While defending Sochi's ability to accommodate guests for the Winter Olympics this week, a Russian official on Thursday revealed that some of the city's hotels are apparently equipped with surveillance cameras in the bathrooms.

"We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," said Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister in charge of Olympic preparation, claiming that Western guests have been trying to sabotage the event.

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