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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

This post has been updated.

An independent federal oversight agency found that the National Security Agency's program that collects bulk phone records is illegal and concluded that the government should shut down the program, according to an advance copy of the report obtained by the New York Times on Thursday.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board found that the surveillance program had "minimal" benefits in preventing terrorist attacks.

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Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) on Tuesday moved the vote on a proposed constitutional same-sex marriage ban to a more conservative committee that would appear to increase the likelihood of its passage, according to the Huffington Post.

After Republicans in the Judiciary Committee expressed skepticism about the provision, Bosma moved the bill to the House Elections and Apportionment Committee.

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Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema, who has been criticized for anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments, is not attending the RNC's winter meeting in Washington, D.C. and blames his absence on "liberal critics within the Republican Party."

"My liberal critics within the Republican Party have chosen to elevate this discussion to the RNC Meeting and make it a drawn out fight between liberals and conservatives within the party," he said in a statement to the Detroit Free Press. "For this reason, I have decided it is best for the party that I not attend the meeting this week and instead I have sent a proxy who will vote how I want on Rules."

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Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) believes that although a wife is supposed to "voluntarily submit" to her husband, she is not inferior to him, according to the Washington Post.

"The wife is to voluntarily submit, just as the husband is to lovingly lead and sacrifice," Pearce wrote in a December memoir "Just Fly The Plane, Stupid!" that discusses the Bible. "The husband's part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else."

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Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) on Tuesday evening called on Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to step down after he made numerous anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments, becoming the third member of Congress to do so this week.

"Those who seek to be leaders must strive to be inclusive and respectful of others," she said in a statement obtained by the Detroit News. "Anyone who presents themselves as a leader who takes the path of division or exclusion is not following the examples of Lincoln and Reagan and is not worthy of any position of leadership. Dave Agema has failed this test and should resign."

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Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) on Tuesday called on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to step down from his role as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association due to the the impact the bridge scandal could have on fellow Republicans in other states.

"I think just from the perspective of setting aside this as an issue in other races, it makes sense for him to step aside in that role," Cuccinelli, who lost the Virginia gubernatorial race in November to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), said on CNN's "Crossfire." "He does not serve the goals of that organization by staying as chairman."

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Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) on Tuesday called on Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign following controversy surrounding anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments Agema made online and in speeches, according to ABC 13.

Agema in April compared being gay to alcoholism on his Facebook page and claimed in a December speech that gay people desire medical insurance because they have AIDS.

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