Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Catherine

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) encouraged fellow members of Congress to support a so-called "clean" spending bill that does not delay or defund Obamacare in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Denver Post.

From the op-ed

I have done my best to delay, defund and dismantle all or parts of Obamacare because I believe that much of it will be harmful to this country in the long run. Lost in the shutdown coverage, the problems with the new Obamacare exchanges are a major cause for concern. However, the debate over attaching Obamacare to a spending bill must end and I will argue before my colleagues in the House that we need to pass a "clean" spending bill to immediately reopen the government. Reducing spending remains my top concern. That's why I believe this funding resolution should stay within the spending caps that both parties agreed to last time the nation's debt limit was increased in 2011.

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Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) on Monday said Democrats have no evidence that a no-strings-attached spending bill would pass the House. 

CNN's Anderson Cooper pressed Labrador to explain why a so-called "clean" continuing resolution to fund the government shouldn't immediately be brought to a vote.

"You know, we could bring it to a vote and it would lose," Labrador said on "AC360." "And this is a beautiful talking point that the Democrats have, because it is something they have no evidence that there is anybody willing to vote for this bill."

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Monday accused the Obama administration and the Treasury Department of "scare-mongering" by warning of the potential catastrophic consequences of a default on the nation's economy.

"The Treasury Department, I think the Secretary of the Treasury, I think the President of the United States ought to be trying to calm the markets, rather than scare them," Johnson said in an interview with Salon. "The President really ought to be leading here. And they really ought to be passing something like the Full Faith and Credit act, or a no-default bill which would guarantee the prioritization of tax revenue coming in and spending to ensure that we don’t default. There is absolutely no reason at all for this type of government to default even if we don’t increase the debt ceiling. So I think it’s highly irresponsible of this Administration to be doing the type of scare-mongering they’re doing on this issue." 

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) late Monday reversed her administration's directive to not issue welfare checks due to the government shutdown, the Arizona Republic reported.

The state's Department of Economic Security said last week that about 5,200 eligible low-income families with children would not receive payments under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Arizona appeared to be the only state to halt payments during the shutdown.

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Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) released a new TV ad Monday that hits Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) over his support of employer contributions for congressional staff's health care plans.

"What's good for the goose ought to be good for the gander. But not in Washington," the narrator of the 30-second spot says. "Mark Pryor cast the deciding vote to make you live under Obamacare. But Pryor votes himself, and everyone in Congress, special subsidies so they’re protected from Obamacare. Exemptions and special subsidies for Mark Pryor. Higher insurance premiums for you." 

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Saturday that Republicans' preoccupation with defunding Obamacare amounts to "insanity."

The Nevada Democrat explained in an interview with Esquire magazine why he recently said the Tea Party caucus is losing their minds.

"The reason I said that is that Einstein said the sign of insanity is when you do something over and over again and expect a different result," he said. "They've voted forty-four times to defund Obamacare. Is that insanity? I think so."

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A Nebraska congressman apologized Sunday for saying he would continue to collect his salary during the government shutdown, announcing he would ask to have it withheld until furloughed workers receive their pay. 

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE) was frank when he told the Omaha World-Herald last week that his colleagues who chose to forego their paychecks or donate them to charity during the shutdown were only doing so for publicity.

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Several conservatives seized on the Amber Alert system website's downtime over the weekend to criticize the Obama administration's handling of the government shutdown.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice, Brian Fallon, debunked the rumor Monday. Amber Alerts were still issued over the weekend by individual states and counties even though the system's website was down, according to Fallon.

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