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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

Senate Democrats strongly criticized congressional Republicans for refusing to agree to a government funding bill with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) saying Democrats are dealing with "anarchists" who "hate the government." 

"Understand we're dealing with anarchists," Reid said Monday. "They hate government."

Reid said Democrats would do "everything in their power" to help federal employees and pass a "clean" CR, which would continue current government spending levels. 

"We are not going to do anything other than wait for them to pass our CR because otherwise government's going to shutdown. 

Reid was speaking at a press conference on Monday shortly after his chamber rejected the House's government funding proposal. The majority leader was flanked by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA). 

Schumer said Republicans weren't actually compromising like they said when they were offering to pass a continuing resolution that defunds Obamacare instead of delaying it. 

"That's like saying 'we're compromising, instead of cutting both your arms off, we're cutting just one of your arms off. Aren't we great?! '" Schumer said.

"Never before, never before in our history has one party threatened a government shutdown if they don't get a hundred percent of what they want on an issue totally unrelated to the budget," Schumer said.  "Rather than doing the right thing and abandoning the hard right, Speaker Boehner is holding out the forlorn hope that by sending us new demands day in and day out Democrats will capitulate. He's wrong, and we won't."

Schumer said if Democrats concede to Republicans "an inch on the CR, they'll take a mile on the debt ceiling." 

"The hard right will say 'see! they gave in!' And they'll do the same thing on the full-length CR in September," Schumer said. "We won't be extorted now, we won't be extorted two weeks from now, we won't be extorted in December." 

The Justice Department formally announced its plans to sue North Carolina over the state's new controversial package of voter identification law on Monday. North Carolina joins Texas as states where the Justice Department is testing the limits of its power to prevent voter discrimination since the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in June.

Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice argue that four provisions of North Carolina's new voter ID law are aimed at keeping minorities from voting. The Justice Department complaint, which will be filed in North Carolina's Middle District, contends that the law denies the right to vote based on "race, color, or membership in a language minority group."

"The North Carolina law includes troubling new restrictions such as provisions that will reduce early voting days, eliminate same-day registration during early voting, and pose a restrictive photo identification requirement for in-person voting and also prohibit the counting of otherwise legitimate provisional ballots that are mistakenly cast in the right county but in the wrong precinct," Holder said at a press conference Monday.

"The Justice Department expects to show that the clear and intended effects of these changes would contract the electorate and result in the unequal access to the participation in the political process on account of race," Holder said.

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The Senate rejected House Republicans' amendments to a government funding bill in a vote of 54 to 46 on Monday.

The Senate's vote to strip the provisions that would have delayed the Obama administration's healthcare reform law for one year and repealed the medical device tax means the House is once again in the spotlight on passing a bill that funds the government.

A simple majority was needed to defeat the bill.

Sen. John Cornyn's (R-TX) reelection campaign is airing a new ad warning of the consequences of Democrats taking control of Texas.

The one-minute ad envisioned what would happen if Democrats took control of the state legislature and other offices and passed a host of Democratic-favored policies like a new state income tax and new environmental regulations. A voiceover in the ad said Texans would leave the state and the economy would suffer.

"President Obama and his liberal allies want to turn Texas blue," Cornyn said in the ad. "But what does that mean? Look at California and Detroit. It means higher taxes, higher unemployment and a government drowning in debt. As your senator and a proud Texan I'll continue to take the fight to President Obama, to keep Texas strong and on the path to prosperity and freedom."

The ad, which the Texas Tribune first highlighted on Monday, also features images of state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who plans to announce her candidacy for governor this week.

You can watch the ad here.

The House of Representatives plans to vote on its new government funding proposal that also includes a one-year delay of Obamacare and a medical device tax on Saturday night. Watch the debate here:

 

House Republicans have reportedly added language to a new government spending bill that limits contraceptive care for employers and insurers who find the care objectionable based on certain grounds.

The provision was added to a new continuing resolution proposal introduced earlier on Saturday. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) and a House leadership aide confirmed the added language to CNN.

The provision allows insurers and employers to opt out of providing preventative care for when if they have moral or religious objections to that contraceptive care.

The continuing resolution, which House leadership unveiled earlier on Saturday, includes a one-year delay of Obamacare and a Medical device tax repeal.

Even before news broke about the contraceptive language top Democrats and the White House denounced the new funding proposal.

The Texas lieutenant governor warned Saturday that the state could fall into Democratic hands if Republicans get "complacent." 

"If we're complacent, yeah, it could happen," Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) said Saturday according to Politico. Dewhurst made the comments at the Texas Tribune Festival. He added that efforts to flip the state from red to blue probably wouldn't happen today. 

Winning elections depends on who turns out to vote, Drewhurst said. 

"And increasingly we’re seeing fewer and fewer people turn out for our elections," Dewhurst added. "So if the Democrats get all of their base turned out and our base is complacent, you know, we could have a problem."

A few days earlier news broke that Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) plans to jump into the gubernatorial race and likely face Attorney General Greg Abbott (R). Dewhurst said Davis had no chance of being elected governor. Some Davis supporters see her as the possible herald of a wave of Democratic victories in the state. 

The White House labeled House Republicans' latest continuing resolution proposal a move to "shut down the government."

The statement, by White House press secretary Jay Carney, came a few hours after House Republicans unveiled their latest proposal. The government funding plan includes a one-year delay of Obamacare and a medical device tax repeal. Top Democrats quickly panned the proposal.

Here's Carney's statement:

Today Republicans in the House of Representatives moved to shut down the government. Congress has two jobs to do: pass budgets and pay the bills it has racked up. Republicans in Congress had the opportunity to pass a routine, simple continuing resolution that keeps the government running for a few more weeks. But instead, Republicans decided they would rather make an ideological point by demanding the sabotage of the health care law. Republicans have tried and failed to defund or delay the health care law more than 40 times, and they know this demand is reckless and irresponsible. The President has shown that he is willing to improve the health care law and meet Republicans more than halfway to deal with our fiscal challenges, but he will not do so under threats of a government shutdown that will hurt our economy. Any member of the Republican Party who votes for this bill is voting for a shutdown. It's time for the House to listen to the American people and act, as the Senate has, in a reasonable way to pass a bill that keeps the government running and move on.

Nobody actually believes President Barack Obama's vows to not negotiate on raising the debt ceiling, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said. 

"Oh, nobody believes that. Nobody believes that. He himself negotiated Bowles Simpson on the debt limit with Democrats. That was Kent Conrad’s requirement," Ryan told National Review. "He himself negotiated the Budget Control Act with the debt limit. Graham Rudman. Bush Andrews Airforce Base. Clinton Gore ‘97. All of those major budget agreements were debt limit agreements. I see this time as no different and I believe he does too. I think most people believe he’s just posturing for now."

Ryan's comments come as the House seeks to pass a new continuing resolution bill that also delays Obamacare for one year and also includes a medical device tax repeal. Top Democrats were quick to criticize the proposal after it was unveiled. 

Ryan also said he expects the ongoing fight over funding the government to eventually fold into negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.

"I think it will fold into the debt ceiling fight. I think that’s inevitable. And preferable in my opinion. I like combining all of our leverage, which is sequester and the debt limit," Ryan told the magazine.

Ryan said right now Republicans feel a sense of urgency to do as much as possible against Obamacare before it kicks in on Oct. 1.

"I think that, we’re prior to Oct. 1, when Obamacare starts, and there’s just a great desire to do everything we can before that moment. And that’s understandable. I respect that. I think the Senate’s gonna have a tough vote," Ryan said.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called House Republicans' push to pass a government funding bill that includes a one-year delay of Obamacare and a Medical device tax repeal "pointless."

Reid's statement on Saturday came after House Republican leadership unveiled the continuing resolution with the Obamacare delay and device tax repeal. House Republicans were reportedly quick to embrace the proposal.

"Today’s vote by House Republicans is pointless," Reid said in a statement on Saturday. "As I have said repeatedly, the Senate will reject any Republican attempt to force changes to the Affordable Care Act through a mandatory government funding bill or the debt ceiling. Furthermore, President Obama has stated that he would veto such measures if they ever reached his desk.

"To be absolutely clear, the Senate will reject both the one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of the medical device tax. After weeks of futile political games from Republicans, we are still at square one: Republicans must decide whether to pass the Senate’s clean CR, or force a Republican government shutdown.

“Senate Democrats have shown that we are willing to debate and vote on a wide range of issues, including efforts to improve the Affordable Care Act. We continue to be willing to debate these issues in a calm and rational atmosphere. But the American people will not be extorted by Tea Party anarchists."
 

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