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Daniel Strauss

Daniel Strauss is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He was previously a breaking news reporter for The Hill newspaper and has written for Politico, Roll Call, The American Prospect, and Gaper's Block. He has also interned at Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and The New Yorker. Daniel grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in History. At Michigan he helped edit Consider, a weekly opinion magazine. He can be reached at daniel@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Daniel

Updated at 12:25 p.m.

The head of the political arm of the Heritage Foundation said Wednesday that the federal government should raise the debt ceiling and fund the government only if Obamacare is fully defunded.

The comments, by Heritage Action for America CEO Micahel Needham, came during a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.

"It's going to fundamentally change the way of life for the American people and that is why we should raise the debt limit, fund the government, and not fund Obamacare," Needham said.

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A second cousin of President Barack Obama will challenge Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) in the Republican Primary.

The cousin, Milton Wolf, will make his announcement Tuesday evening, Wolf's campaign confirmed to TPM.

Wolf is a radiologist by training and has been hinting at plans to challenge Roberts for some time now. His candidacy is considered a long shot -- and Roberts himself has acknowledged that.

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The chairman of the Colorado Republican Party this week warned that a new recall effort against a Democratic state senator over her votes for gun control could hurt the Colorado GOP's chances in higher profile races.

"The job of the Republican Party is to get Republicans elected when there are regular elections," GOP Party Chairman Ryan Call said in an interview with Fox affiliate KDVR on Monday. "And there are already a lot of things competing for our time, attention and resources.

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Libertarian favorite Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) has drawn a primary challenger: conservative investment manager Brian Ellis.

Ellis announced his candidacy Tuesday morning.

"Congressman Justin Amash has turned his back on our conservative principles by voting against the Paul Ryan Budget that would cut spending by $5 trillion, and against a 20% tax cut for small businesses," Ellis said in a statement. "Congressman Amash refused to vote in favor of the Keystone Pipeline and he even voted to allow our tax dollars to fund America's largest abortion provider."

"I will advance conservative solutions by voting to balance the budget, reduce the tax burden, expand American energy sources, and defend the right to life and our Constitution."

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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is attacking House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for being too "chicken" to have his chamber hold a vote on a clean government funding bill that would end the shutdown.

A new web ad aimed at voters in Boehner's home district in Ohio argues that there are enough House lawmakers (including Republicans and Democrats) to pass a clean government funding bill. The ad, made up mostly of movie clips, pokes at Boehner, arguing that he's too scared to hold a vote on a clean continuing resolution.

"Tell John Boehner to grow a spine. #DemandAVote," the ad concludes.

Despite top Democrats urging Boehner to hold a vote on a clean continuing resolution the speaker has insisted "that's not going to happen."

Watch the ad below:

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Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said he would vote for a clean debt ceiling increase proposal on Monday.

After Politico reporter Manu Raju tweeted Monday evening that Kirk supported ending debate on a clean debt limit increase and furthermore an 'aye' on the actual bill, Kirk's office confirmed the senator's position to TPM. 

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House Republicans won't agree to a debt limit increase deal that includes anything less then a full delay or complete defunding of Obamacare, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said.

"They may try to throw the kitchen sink at the debt limit, but I don't think our conference will be amenable for settling for a collection of things after we've fought so hard," Garrett said, according to National Review on Monday. "If it doesn’t have a full delay or defund of Obamacare, I know I and many others will not be able to support whatever the leadership proposes. If it’s just a repeal of the medical-device tax, or chained CPI, that won’t be enough."

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The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal of a decision by a lower court striking down Virginia's anti-sodomy law, which Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) had hoped to keep in place.

Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, and other proponents of the law argue that it is necessary for combatting sexual predators of children, according to The Washington Post.

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A trio of researchers have released a new study that found the recently gutted provision of the Voting Rights Act has played a major role in boosting African-American political representation on the municipal level around the country.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Rice University and Ohio University found that municipalities covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- which required certain jurisdictions to get federal approval (often referred to as preclearance) before changing their voting laws -- saw a more rapid increase in black political representation than municipalities that were not covered under the provision.

Section 5 was largely rendered moot by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder in June. In that case, the court found that the formula in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act that determined which jurisdictions would be subject to Section 5 preclearance was unconstitutionally outdated. Since then, with a divided Congress unlikely to agree on revising Section 4, the Justice Department has announced lawsuits against Texas and North Carolina for passing new, strict voting laws. Texas was previously required to get federal approval before changing its voting laws, and some counties in North Carolina were as well.

The study, available online and to be published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Politics, suggests that there could be a decline in black representation at the municipal level because of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"It's going to be like Karl Marx said, history repeats itself twice. First time it's tragedy, second time it's farce, and that's what's going to happen. We're going to see fewer minority candidates at least at the city council level," Ohio University Professor Anirudh V. S. Ruhil, one of the study's authors, told TPM on Monday.

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A conservative super PAC charged that Wyoming Senate Candidate Liz Cheney is inconsistent on gay marriage.

The ad included a clip of Cheney on MSNBC in 2009 saying she opposes a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and supports the State Department extending benefits to same-sex couples.

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