Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

An eyewitness to Thursday afternoon's incident near the U.S. Capitol saw police pursuing a black car and heard gunfire before one police car crashed into a security barrier.

Jeff Hamond, 46, vice president at Van Scoyoc Associates, a federal lobbying firm, said he was riding his bike west on Constitution Avenue after a meeting at the Hart Senate Building.

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The lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted at about 2:58 p.m. ET, officials announced, roughly 40 minutes after first reports of gunfire near the grounds.

Moments after reports of shot fired near the U.S. Capitol, TPM spotted a group of tourists rushing away from the Capitol's West Lawn and across Independence Avenue, under the direction of U.S. Capitol police.

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The Caribou Coffee cups were stacked neatly on the U.S. Capitol steps. Two cardboard coffee pots were ready to be poured. More than a dozen reporters watched them closely. They were waiting.

A few minutes after 11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), the mastermind behind this bipartisan coffee summit, strode to the steps. He helped himself to a cup. Paul's office insisted that this wasn't a photo-op, but for the moment, the press were the only ones who were there. Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY), Paul's state brethren, finally showed up. A reporter inquired if Paul was expecting more people to come.

"I hope so," Paul said. "I hope this isn't going to the bipartisan summit, two Republicans from Kentucky!"

After a few minutes, some more representatives and senators -- all of them Republicans, except Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) -- did join Paul on the front steps. They chatted amiably, sometimes about the shutdown, sometimes about NASCAR. No path to reopening the federal government emerged. But the photographers snapped their shutters, anyway.

That's where we're at, three days into the shutdown.

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American exceptionalism has been in full view of the world in the last few days, but not in the way that people usually mean. Since Monday night, the U.S. government has reminded the international community that it's one of the few -- maybe the only -- that can actually shut down.

Foreign press correspondents, left trying to explain an inexplicable situation to their audiences back home, are dumbfounded. TPM talked with Washington reporters from around the world, everywhere from South Korea to Sweden to Turkey, to ask them what they thought about the first U.S. government shutdown in 17 years.

Some of their takes were quite frank.

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The House passed Wednesday two partial spending bills, less than 24 hours after piecemeal measures failed to clear the chamber.

The bill to fund the National Park Service passed 252-173.

The bill to fund the National Institutes of Health passed 254-171.

Senate Democratic leaders have already said the bills won't clear that chamber, and the White House has threatened to veto them.

The House is expected to vote Thursday on bills to fund part of the Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Guard and military reserve.

The House rejected Wednesday an effort by House Democrats to put a clean temporary spending bill on the floor, closing one opportunity to re-open the federal government.

The complicated process went like this. House Republicans proposed a partial spending bill to fund the National Parks Service. House Democrats moved to replace that bill with the Senate-passed spending bill that would fund the government as a whole.

House Republican leadership rejected the motion. House Democrats appealed the rejection. House Republicans moved to block the appeal, and the House then voted 230-194, largely along party lines, to block the appeal.

If the House had allowed the appeal, there might have been a chance for the Senate spending bill to come to the floor for a vote Wednesday evening. The expectation is that the Senate bill would be approved if put up for a vote, with moderate Republicans joining Democrats to pass it, ending the government shutdown.